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Proactive Inspection Program

Coming Soon!  You will now have the option to pay for your Proactive Inspection Program Fee Online!  Join us in-person or online for an "Introduction of the Online Proactive Inspection Portal", Session 1 and Session 2.

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The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) Proactive Inspections Division ensures all multi-unit rental properties in the District of Columbia are inspected. The Proactive Inspection Program is designed to ensure all rental units in the District of Columbia meet all residential property maintenance and building codes. Previously, residential building-wide inspections were completed only after receiving a series of complaints from tenants. As of November 1, 2017, non-exempt multi-family rental properties are randomly selected for inspection to ensure they meet property maintenance and building code regulations. The Proactive Inspections Division randomly inspects multi-family rental properties to ensure they meet property maintenance and building code regulations. Proactive Inspection Schedule – Monthly, property owners and managers can view the Proactive Inspection Schedules to access which properties have been selected for an inspection.

Percentage of Units to be Inspected

All multi-family rental property owners and property managers will receive a letter and a proactive inspection date from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). The compliance inspection includes exterior, interior common area, and unit inspections. As a building owner, you or your agent, are required to be present during the inspection and provide DCRA Inspectors entry into a percentage of your building's units.

Refer to the table below to determine how many units DCRA Inspectors must enter. The inspectors must visit at least one unit from each floor and the basement (if applicable). If inspectors cannot access all common areas, and the required number of units, the building will not pass the compliance inspection.

Total Units in Buildings Total Units Needed to Pass Inspection
3 to 4 50 Percent
5 to 49 30 Percent
50 + 15 Percent

Details on Inspections

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) Inspectors can only enter units for which property owners or property managers have secured a tenant-signed Inspection Consent Form. Property owners or property managers are responsible for collecting signed Inspection Consent Forms prior to unit inspections.

Tenant Consent Forms – The Inspection Consent Form is available in English, as well as other languages and available on the Proactive Inspection Consent Forms webpage.

Please call the DCRA Proactive Inspections Division at (202) 481-3524 between 9 am and 4 pm at least five (5) days prior to your scheduled inspection date to provide your contact information to the DCRA Inspector. This allows the DCRA Inspector to contact you the morning of the inspection and provide a two (2) hour window arrival time.

Compliance Inspection Certificates are valid for two (2) years and are issued when the rental property:

  • Passes inspection
  • The property owner or property manager obtains an active Basic Business License (BBL) from DCRA
  • The Proactive Inspection Fee is received from the owner

As previously mentioned, a property owner or property managers must be on the premises during the inspection. If you are unable to attend a scheduled proactive inspection, you are required to reschedule the inspection 24-hours before the scheduled appointment.  Failure to notify can cause your building to automatically fail the inspection and may result in an enforcement action. 

Proactive Inspections FAQs

What is the Proactive Inspection Program?
The Proactive Inspection Program is a property maintenance inspection program designed to routinely evaluate properties for code compliance.  The inspection program includes all District properties with three or more rental units.

How did my property get included in the Proactive Inspection Program?
Properties with three or more rental units are automatically enrolled and are subject to both proactive inspections and billing for the program fee based on the rental license renewal cycle.

Why am I receiving this bill for the Proactive Inspection Program fee?
All District housing rental property owners receive a Proactive Inspection Program bill on a two-year or four-year cycle, which corresponds with the rental license billing cycle (14 DCMR § 207). All specific billing questions should be discussed with the Proactive staff at dcra.proactive@dc.gov.

How is the Proactive Inspection Program fee calculated?
The Proactive Inspection Program fee is $35 per unit with a maximum cumulative fee of $2,000 biennially. 14 DCMR § 207.

Do I need to register my property?
No. All properties with three or more rental units are automatically enrolled. However, you are required to obtain a Basic Business License (BBL) with DCRA for all of your housing rental properties. For questions regarding obtaining a BBL, please call (202) 442-4311 or visit dcra.dc.gov/service/get-apartment-license.

Who should I contact if I have a Basic Business License for my housing rental property, but I never received a proactive inspection?
Your property will be scheduled during the random selection process of the Proactive Inspection Program.  These inspections occur on a four to five-year recurring basis.  If you believe your building has exceeded this interval or has not participated in proactive inspections, please contact DCRA’s Customer Service Department at (202) 442-9557.

How do I know if my property is scheduled to be inspected?
The DCRA website, www.dcra.dc.gov, lists the properties scheduled for inspection by the 15th of each month, prior to the month of the scheduled inspection.  A letter is mailed to the responsible party on record and the property is posted with a Proactive Inspection notice one week prior to the scheduled inspection date.

How are properties selected for inspection?
Each property is selected based upon a random selection process that includes properties in all eight wards.  Properties may also be scheduled for a Proactive Inspection if DCRA receives a substantial number of inspection requests from tenants.

How often must I get inspected?
Proactive inspections occur every four to five years based upon random property selection.  However, based upon extenuating circumstances or as a result of property maintenance complaints, proactive inspection frequency may be increased.  The frequency of inspection has no impact on the Proactive Inspection Program fee billing cycle.

What if the information listed on my invoice is not accurate?
DCRA makes every effort to maintain accurate property information, but in the event any information listed on the invoice is inaccurate, please provide the correct information with supporting documentation to the online payment portal: https://eservices.dcra.dc.gov/proactive.  You may also confirm your contact information on the online portal.

How do I find out more about the Proactive Inspection Program?
To find out more about the Proactive Inspection Program, please visit our website at the following link: Proactive Inspection Program.

Contact Us

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Proactive Inspection Division, 4th Floor

1100 4th Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (202) 481-3524
Fax: (202) 478-5751

Proactive Inspection Information: