New Searchable Database Helps Renters Check Landlords’ Housing Violation History

Even in the nicest apartments, things break and need to be fixed. But before you move in someplace, how can you be sure you’re entering into an agreement with a good landlord? To help District renters make more informed decisions, DCRA has launched a new Landlord Violations Tool that prospective tenants can use to check if a landlord has any outstanding, unaddressed housing violations.

“With this new, free resource, we’re arming District renters with critical information about landlords before they ever sign a lease,” said DCRA Director Ernest Chrappah. “If a landlord has several unaddressed housing violations, you may want to think twice about moving in there.”

To use the tool, simply visit DCRA’s dashboard, click on the “Inspections and Compliance” tab, and then scroll down to the Landlord Violations Tool, where you can enter a property address or the name of a landlord.

The Landlord Violations Tool includes approximately 38,000 housing violations that DCRA has cited landlords for over the last 3 years. Once a landlord has abated a violation, it is removed from the tool’s database.

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Housing inspections are designed to ensure landlords make necessary repairs to make residential units habitable. This map highlights DCRA inspections that uncovered housing violations. The size of each bubble represents the density of inspections where violations were found.

Some of the most common housing violations include:

· Failure to correct cracked or loose plaster, holes, decayed wood, water damage/or other defective surface;

· Failure to maintain windows, skylights, door or frame in sound condition, good repair and weather tight;

· Failure to maintain all fire and smokestop doors in operable condition;

· Failure to eliminate and repaint surfaces with peeling, flaking or chipped paint; and

· Failure to maintain bathtub, shower, lavatory, water closet or kitchen sink in a sanitary, safe working condition.

The Landlord Violations Tool is the latest addition to DCRA’s expansive dashboard, designed to give District residents transparent access to the agency’s data.

Protecting consumers while helping DC build and do business.

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