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Construction Neighbor Rights and Resources

The District has policies and resources that help protect you and your property when a neighbor is doing construction adjacent to your property. The main purpose of DCRA policies and District Construction Codes are to protect the public health, safety and general welfare of residential and business occupants and visitors. Please see some of your rights and resources below.

Neighbor Notifications

Neighbor notification letters are to give notice of construction to adjacent properties. It is not a tool to reject, hold or delay a private property owner from performing work on their property. Per Section §3307.1 ,Section §106.2.18 of the 2017 District of Columbia Construction Code, 12 DCMR A (the “Construction Code”) requires adjoining public and private property to be protected from damage during construction, alteration, repair, demolition or raze of a premises at the expense of the person causing the work. Protection must be provided for lots, and for all elements of a building or other structure, including, but not limited to, footings, foundations, party walls, chimneys, vents, skylights ,porches ,decks, roofs, roof outlets, roof structures and flashing. Provisions shall be made to control water runoff and erosion during construction, demolition or raze activities. These section shall also apply where (1) the work will cause operable chimneys or vents on adjoining premises to become non-compliant with the Chimney Provisions (as defined in section 3307.1.1 or (2) the work will cause the live load of the roof of an adjoining or adjacent premises to exceed the design capacity as a result of the increased snow drift load. As an Adjacent or adjoining premises owner you have the right to seek reconsideration, within10 business days from the date that the permit is issued, by the code official based solely on the grounds that: (1) the permit authorizes one or more construction activities identified in Section; and (2) the work authorized by the permit will not protect the adjoining premises of the objecting owner from structural damage. The objection shall include (1) technical support for your conclusions that the work authorized by the permit will not protect your premises from structural damage. And (2) any proposed changes to the work plan that you assert are necessary to protect your premises from structural damage. Request for reconsideration shall be served in accordance to section 112.7 and section 113.5.5

View Responsibilities of an Adjacent Property Owner here.

Illegal Construction Hours and Noise Complaints

Construction is allowed Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm without any special permits. Customers must apply for an afterhours permit to work beyond these legal construction hours. If you believe work is being done after legal hours without permit, please report to DCRA.

To report illegal construction, call DCRA’s Illegal Construction Unit, at (202) 442-STOP (7867) or call 311 during non-business hours and you will be routed to an on-duty inspector. Learn more here.

Noise Complaints

DCRA is one of several agencies which enforce regulations regarding noise. DCRA's primary responsibility is for noise related to activity under its regulatory authority; the two primary being trash truck noise complaints and construction noise complaints. Learn more here. Roles and responsibilities for noise control belongs to various engaged DC government agencies Review a compilation of the District's noise regulations and standards in the Noise Regulations Handbook.

To report a noise complaint, please call (202) 442-9557, option 6, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and 311 afterhours.