Legislation Posts


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Newest Coronavirus Law Clarifies Landlord Obligations

Newest Coronavirus Law Clarifies Landlord Obligations

On May 19, 2020, the DC Council further specified landlords’ obligations to offer payment plans under the Coronavirus Support Emergency Act. Two weeks ago the Council approved a law requiring, among other things, that certain landlords enter into payment plans with tenants’ whose ability to pay rent has been impacted by the public health emergency. However, the original law was vague as to specific rights and obligations. This week the Council approved new legislation to clarify several aspects of the law.
Read More
DC’s New Coronavirus Law Requires Rent Payment Plans

DC’s New Coronavirus Law Requires Rent Payment Plans

The DC Council’s third emergency Coronavirus law requires landlords to give payment plans for missed rent payments during the public health emergency and for a year thereafter. While the law is fairly clear about who it applies to it contains few details about the required contents of a payment plan. Notwithstanding the gaping holes in this legislation, here are the details that we have now.
Read More
Guide to COVID-19 Assistance for Hospitality Businesses

Guide to COVID-19 Assistance for Hospitality Businesses

Recently, the government has made COVID-19 assistance for hospitality businesses a priority. We have updated our earlier guide with the most recent legal information available. If you own a bar or restaurant and have any questions, I will be glad to consult with you free of charge.
Read More
Emergency Coronavirus Law For DC Restaurants and Bars

Emergency Coronavirus Law For DC Restaurants and Bars

The COVID-19 emergency has decimated the hospitality industry and the legal situation is fluid. We have put together this legal guide to assist you in identifying appropriate resources. If you own a nightlife establishment, I will be glad to consult with you free of charge.
Read More
D.C. Council Stops Evictions for Federal Workers

D.C. Council Stops Evictions for Federal Workers

On January 22, the D.C. Council passed emergency legislation to give formerly furloughed federal workers and contractors relief from eviction, late fees and foreclosure sales. The new law allows Judges to stay eviction and foreclosure proceedings against federal workers until thirty (30) days after the government reopens or 90 days after a worker’s last paycheck.
Read More
Emergency law to implement changes to DC eviction procedures

Emergency law to implement changes to DC eviction procedures

A couple of months ago, I posted that the U.S. Marshals Service announced changes to DC eviction procedures. Broadly speaking the Marshals decided that they would no longer supervise the removal of tenant belongings from a unit, but merely allow the landlord to execute a lock change at eviction.
Read More
New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

In the midst of the oversight season, the Council pressed forward with its legislative agenda. On March 6, 2018, they passed a somewhat controversial TOPA Amendment, exempting owner-occupied single family homes.
Read More
Don’t refuse to rent based on criminal record until your read this

Don’t refuse to rent based on criminal record until your read this

One of the things the District has gotten right is establishing, maintaining and expanding one of the most protective Human Rights laws in the nation. I am very proud to live in a place where wrongful discrimination, of any kind, is simply not tolerated. Did you know that the DC Human Rights Act also protects the criminal record of rental housing applicants?
Read More
TOPA’s Red-Headed Stepchild

TOPA’s Red-Headed Stepchild

In 2008, the Council passed the District Opportunity to Purchase Act (DOPA). As the name suggests, DOPA gives the District the right to purchase residential buildings, in certain circumstances, where the owner seeks to sell to a third party. The 2008 Act left many open questions for the Agency to resolve by promulgating regulations. On December 22 2017, only nine (9) years later, DHCD has finally answered the bell, and published proposed regulations.
Read More
Your Liquor License Is At Risk If Your Government Approvals Are Not Current

Your Liquor License Is At Risk If Your Government Approvals Are Not Current

To run a restaurant, bar or any other business in the District for that matter, you need the approval of several government agencies, not just the ABC Board. Of course, you know that.
Read More
No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

The local media, government officials (usually when seeking re-election), housing advocates and the legal services community throw around the amorphous term “slumlord” to describe a landlord that treats tenants badly by failing or refusing to make needed repairs to a rental unit. The point at which a landlord crosses over into ‘slumlord’ territory was anybody’s guess, until now. On November 7 the D.C. Council has proposed an official definition of “slumlord.” (in a sense). The “Slumlord Deterrence Amendment Act of 2017” imposes harsh sanctions on people that own an interest in a rental property which amasses more than five (5) Class 1 violations in a year. Specifically, the slumlord in question may be denied a Basic Business License (including renewal) or Building Permit, of any...
Read More
What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

On November 7, 2017, Council members Bonds and Nadeau introduced legislation to limit the rent that a landlord may charge for a unit after termination of a Federal or District subsidy. The Rental Housing Affordability Re-establishment Act of 2017 essentially provides, that upon termination of a tenant subsidy, a landlord may only charge a tenant the rent charged for that unit prior to the subsidy, plus, an increase of “general applicability” for each year that the subsidy based exemption was in place.
Read More
Dining with Dogs

Dining with Dogs

It is now legal for restaurant owners to allow patrons to bring pets into the outdoor seating areas provided certain conditions are met. Personally, I had no idea that allowing dogs in outdoor seating areas of restaurants was illegal. I have seen this, for years, all over the city, and frankly, thought nothing of it. I have never come across or even heard of an establishment receiving a violation for allowing dogs in outdoor areas. Apparently, during the summer months, the Department of Heath, cracked down on such conduct, issuing a slew of enforcement notices to restaurants with outdoor seating.
Read More
Housing Code Violations as Consumer Fraud

Housing Code Violations as Consumer Fraud

On October 3, 2017, the Council enacted an amendment to the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act to allow the Attorney General to prosecute cases of consumer fraud against landlords who fail to correct housing code violations in rental units.
Read More
Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Protection

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Protection

Wait a minute. I thought a reverse mortgage was an arrangement where the lender pays the owner every month. How can there be a risk of foreclosure where the owner is receiving and not paying a monthly mortgage payment?
Read More
Rent Concessions To Be Outlawed

Rent Concessions To Be Outlawed

On September 9 Councilmember Cheh proposed an amendment to the Rent Stabilization provisions of the Rental Housing Act. That is just a complicated way of saying that the Councilmember is seeking to change the “Rent Control” Law to make it more difficult for landlords to raise the rent.
Read More

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Legislation Posts


Image
Newest Coronavirus Law Clarifies Landlord Obligations

Newest Coronavirus Law Clarifies Landlord Obligations

On May 19, 2020, the DC Council further specified landlords’ obligations to offer payment plans under the Coronavirus Support Emergency Act. Two weeks ago the Council approved a law requiring, among other things, that certain landlords enter into payment plans with tenants’ whose ability to pay rent has been impacted by the public health emergency. However, the original law was vague as to specific rights and obligations. This week the Council approved new legislation to clarify several aspects of the law.
Read More
DC’s New Coronavirus Law Requires Rent Payment Plans

DC’s New Coronavirus Law Requires Rent Payment Plans

The DC Council’s third emergency Coronavirus law requires landlords to give payment plans for missed rent payments during the public health emergency and for a year thereafter. While the law is fairly clear about who it applies to it contains few details about the required contents of a payment plan. Notwithstanding the gaping holes in this legislation, here are the details that we have now.
Read More
Guide to COVID-19 Assistance for Hospitality Businesses

Guide to COVID-19 Assistance for Hospitality Businesses

Recently, the government has made COVID-19 assistance for hospitality businesses a priority. We have updated our earlier guide with the most recent legal information available. If you own a bar or restaurant and have any questions, I will be glad to consult with you free of charge.
Read More
Emergency Coronavirus Law For DC Restaurants and Bars

Emergency Coronavirus Law For DC Restaurants and Bars

The COVID-19 emergency has decimated the hospitality industry and the legal situation is fluid. We have put together this legal guide to assist you in identifying appropriate resources. If you own a nightlife establishment, I will be glad to consult with you free of charge.
Read More
D.C. Council Stops Evictions for Federal Workers

D.C. Council Stops Evictions for Federal Workers

On January 22, the D.C. Council passed emergency legislation to give formerly furloughed federal workers and contractors relief from eviction, late fees and foreclosure sales. The new law allows Judges to stay eviction and foreclosure proceedings against federal workers until thirty (30) days after the government reopens or 90 days after a worker’s last paycheck.
Read More
Emergency law to implement changes to DC eviction procedures

Emergency law to implement changes to DC eviction procedures

A couple of months ago, I posted that the U.S. Marshals Service announced changes to DC eviction procedures. Broadly speaking the Marshals decided that they would no longer supervise the removal of tenant belongings from a unit, but merely allow the landlord to execute a lock change at eviction.
Read More
New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

In the midst of the oversight season, the Council pressed forward with its legislative agenda. On March 6, 2018, they passed a somewhat controversial TOPA Amendment, exempting owner-occupied single family homes.
Read More
Don’t refuse to rent based on criminal record until your read this

Don’t refuse to rent based on criminal record until your read this

One of the things the District has gotten right is establishing, maintaining and expanding one of the most protective Human Rights laws in the nation. I am very proud to live in a place where wrongful discrimination, of any kind, is simply not tolerated. Did you know that the DC Human Rights Act also protects the criminal record of rental housing applicants?
Read More
TOPA’s Red-Headed Stepchild

TOPA’s Red-Headed Stepchild

In 2008, the Council passed the District Opportunity to Purchase Act (DOPA). As the name suggests, DOPA gives the District the right to purchase residential buildings, in certain circumstances, where the owner seeks to sell to a third party. The 2008 Act left many open questions for the Agency to resolve by promulgating regulations. On December 22 2017, only nine (9) years later, DHCD has finally answered the bell, and published proposed regulations.
Read More
Your Liquor License Is At Risk If Your Government Approvals Are Not Current

Your Liquor License Is At Risk If Your Government Approvals Are Not Current

To run a restaurant, bar or any other business in the District for that matter, you need the approval of several government agencies, not just the ABC Board. Of course, you know that.
Read More
No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

The local media, government officials (usually when seeking re-election), housing advocates and the legal services community throw around the amorphous term “slumlord” to describe a landlord that treats tenants badly by failing or refusing to make needed repairs to a rental unit. The point at which a landlord crosses over into ‘slumlord’ territory was anybody’s guess, until now. On November 7 the D.C. Council has proposed an official definition of “slumlord.” (in a sense). The “Slumlord Deterrence Amendment Act of 2017” imposes harsh sanctions on people that own an interest in a rental property which amasses more than five (5) Class 1 violations in a year. Specifically, the slumlord in question may be denied a Basic Business License (including renewal) or Building Permit, of any...
Read More
What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

On November 7, 2017, Council members Bonds and Nadeau introduced legislation to limit the rent that a landlord may charge for a unit after termination of a Federal or District subsidy. The Rental Housing Affordability Re-establishment Act of 2017 essentially provides, that upon termination of a tenant subsidy, a landlord may only charge a tenant the rent charged for that unit prior to the subsidy, plus, an increase of “general applicability” for each year that the subsidy based exemption was in place.
Read More
Dining with Dogs

Dining with Dogs

It is now legal for restaurant owners to allow patrons to bring pets into the outdoor seating areas provided certain conditions are met. Personally, I had no idea that allowing dogs in outdoor seating areas of restaurants was illegal. I have seen this, for years, all over the city, and frankly, thought nothing of it. I have never come across or even heard of an establishment receiving a violation for allowing dogs in outdoor areas. Apparently, during the summer months, the Department of Heath, cracked down on such conduct, issuing a slew of enforcement notices to restaurants with outdoor seating.
Read More
Housing Code Violations as Consumer Fraud

Housing Code Violations as Consumer Fraud

On October 3, 2017, the Council enacted an amendment to the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act to allow the Attorney General to prosecute cases of consumer fraud against landlords who fail to correct housing code violations in rental units.
Read More
Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Protection

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Protection

Wait a minute. I thought a reverse mortgage was an arrangement where the lender pays the owner every month. How can there be a risk of foreclosure where the owner is receiving and not paying a monthly mortgage payment?
Read More
Rent Concessions To Be Outlawed

Rent Concessions To Be Outlawed

On September 9 Councilmember Cheh proposed an amendment to the Rent Stabilization provisions of the Rental Housing Act. That is just a complicated way of saying that the Councilmember is seeking to change the “Rent Control” Law to make it more difficult for landlords to raise the rent.
Read More