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Vacant Building Services & Registration

Register Your Vacant Building

If your building is vacant, DC Official Code § 42-3131.06 requires that you register your vacant building with the Vacant Building Enforcement unit within 30 days of it becoming vacant. Failure to register your building can result in civil and/or criminal penalties of $2,000 in fines per violation and up to 90 days imprisonment.

Upon receiving a notification letter, you must register your building and/or property online within 30 days, along with a $250 registration fee.

Your property will be taxed at the Class 3 real property tax rate, currently $5.00 per $100 of the assessed value. In addition, all vacant properties must meet certain maintenance standards per DC Official Code §42-3131.12.

You can now utilize the online registration portal designed to identify vacant or blighted buildings and verify occupied buildings. Property owners also have the option to use this new tool to request an exemption, as well as pay any fees associated online.

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Verify Your Building is Occupied

If you've received a notice from DCRA’s Vacant Building Enforcement Unit (VBE) a concerning vacant or blighted designation and it is occupied:

  • Register your building as occupied by completing the Vacant Property Response Form.
  • Check the box “My building is occupied” in Step 2.
  • Include a water bill and any other utility bills for the period when the building became occupied.

If verified, your tax rate will not change for the applicable fiscal year going forward, and you will receive a confirmation letter from the Vacant Building Enforcement unit.

If denied, your property will be taxed at the Class 3 rate and you will receive a denial notice with appeal instructions from the Vacant Building Enforcement unit.

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Report a Vacant Private Property

Vacant Building Enforcement schedules an initial four-point inspection for property that is privately owned within 28 business days of the request to determine if the building/private property: (1) appears vacant, (2) has excessive vegetation and (3) graffiti and (4) is open and accessible. If the inspections provide convincing evidence that the property is vacant, a letter is sent the owner of record.

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Register Your Exempt Building

If you've received a notice from DCRA’s Vacant Building Enforcement Unit (VBE) a concerning vacant or blighted designation, use the following to determine whether your building qualifies for an exemption.

Get more Information on Registering Your Exempt Building

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Report A Blight Property

We determine that a building is blighted if it is unsafe, insanitary, or which is otherwise determined to threaten the health, safety, or general welfare of the community.

Get more Information

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Workers at a vacant house
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