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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 the DCMR 2013 collection of construction codes, any alteration, repair, additions to structure, party-walls, chimneys, underpinning or similar work adjacent to the property shall be protected from damage during construction. The responsibility is on “You” the neighbor to provide “technically supported information” for any claim that the proposed scope of work and construction documents will not protect your property. As long as the owner doing the work provides a code compliant design by a registered design professional ensuring the integrity of the shared structure or property, they have the right to build.

If the neighbor finds legitimate building related issues with the permit, the neighbor shall provide “technically supported information” for any claim that the proposed scope of work will not protect his/her property. DCRA is authorized, but not required, to grant a reasonable extension of time so the applicant can resolve the issue. The extension of party-walls, chimneys or underpinning are similar. As long as the owner doing the work provides construction documents ensuring the integrity of the shared structure, they have the right to modify it to meet their requirements of the Code and their scope of work.

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.