Legislation Posts


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DC’s New Law Further Prevents Landlords from Protecting Life, Safety, and Property

DC’s New Law Further Prevents Landlords from Protecting Life, Safety, and Property

On October 14, 2020 a new law is set to go into effect further restricting landlords’ from preventing harm to tenants and buildings. The law does two things: prohibits a housing provider from issuing a notice to vacate to a tenant; and use any alternative means, such as decreasing services, to constructively evict a tenant. Notably, the second piece is redundant, as constructive eviction has been illegal for decades.
Read More
D.C.’s Restriction on Hookah Bars in Phase II Reopening

D.C.’s Restriction on Hookah Bars in Phase II Reopening

The Department of Health recently closed a Georgetown hookah bar, which has sparked questions from restaurant owners if offering hookah during Phase II reopening is legal? Clearly, DOH takes the position that it is not.
Read More
DC Clarifies Landlords’ Cleaning Obligation Under Coronavirus Law

DC Clarifies Landlords’ Cleaning Obligation Under Coronavirus Law

While the eviction moratorium and rent freeze get all of the attention, housing providers have additional obligations under the Coronavirus laws. Recently, DCRA published an emergency rulemaking which sets out in detail certain cleaning requirements for landlords.
Read More
June Amendments to DC Coronavirus Law effective July 17

June Amendments to DC Coronavirus Law effective July 17

On June 8, 2020, the DC Council adopted the latest amendments to the emergency Coronavirus law. However, the amendments did not actually go into effect until July 17, 2020. The changes impact landlord obligations to tenants as outlined below.
Read More
Landlords Challenge Eviction Restrictions in Federal Courts

Landlords Challenge Eviction Restrictions in Federal Courts

In New York and Texas landlords have filed federal lawsuits, claiming that laws denying them access to the courts to pursue evictions violate their constitutional property and contractual rights.
Read More
Phase II Re-opening Rules From The DC Mayor and ABC Board

Phase II Re-opening Rules From The DC Mayor and ABC Board

On June 19, 2020 the Mayor issued the formal order moving DC into Phase II of reopening. Shortly thereafter, the ABC Board published its Emergency Rulemaking, implementing the order to restaurants.
Read More
New Phase I – DC Guidance Clarifies Standards for Outdoor Dining as of June 12

New Phase I – DC Guidance Clarifies Standards for Outdoor Dining as of June 12

The latest guidance on DC’s Phase I re-opening came out on Friday, as a joint-effort from the Mayor, DDOT and DOH. The publication specifically addresses outdoor seating on public space, but, also provides clarity for other outdoor operations. Any establishment with outdoor dining should review the complete guide.
Read More
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
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Legislation Posts


Image
DC’s New Law Further Prevents Landlords from Protecting Life, Safety, and Property

DC’s New Law Further Prevents Landlords from Protecting Life, Safety, and Property

On October 14, 2020 a new law is set to go into effect further restricting landlords’ from preventing harm to tenants and buildings. The law does two things: prohibits a housing provider from issuing a notice to vacate to a tenant; and use any alternative means, such as decreasing services, to constructively evict a tenant. Notably, the second piece is redundant, as constructive eviction has been illegal for decades.
Read More
D.C.’s Restriction on Hookah Bars in Phase II Reopening

D.C.’s Restriction on Hookah Bars in Phase II Reopening

The Department of Health recently closed a Georgetown hookah bar, which has sparked questions from restaurant owners if offering hookah during Phase II reopening is legal? Clearly, DOH takes the position that it is not.
Read More
DC Clarifies Landlords’ Cleaning Obligation Under Coronavirus Law

DC Clarifies Landlords’ Cleaning Obligation Under Coronavirus Law

While the eviction moratorium and rent freeze get all of the attention, housing providers have additional obligations under the Coronavirus laws. Recently, DCRA published an emergency rulemaking which sets out in detail certain cleaning requirements for landlords.
Read More
June Amendments to DC Coronavirus Law effective July 17

June Amendments to DC Coronavirus Law effective July 17

On June 8, 2020, the DC Council adopted the latest amendments to the emergency Coronavirus law. However, the amendments did not actually go into effect until July 17, 2020. The changes impact landlord obligations to tenants as outlined below.
Read More
Landlords Challenge Eviction Restrictions in Federal Courts

Landlords Challenge Eviction Restrictions in Federal Courts

In New York and Texas landlords have filed federal lawsuits, claiming that laws denying them access to the courts to pursue evictions violate their constitutional property and contractual rights.
Read More
Phase II Re-opening Rules From The DC Mayor and ABC Board

Phase II Re-opening Rules From The DC Mayor and ABC Board

On June 19, 2020 the Mayor issued the formal order moving DC into Phase II of reopening. Shortly thereafter, the ABC Board published its Emergency Rulemaking, implementing the order to restaurants.
Read More
New Phase I – DC Guidance Clarifies Standards for Outdoor Dining as of June 12

New Phase I – DC Guidance Clarifies Standards for Outdoor Dining as of June 12

The latest guidance on DC’s Phase I re-opening came out on Friday, as a joint-effort from the Mayor, DDOT and DOH. The publication specifically addresses outdoor seating on public space, but, also provides clarity for other outdoor operations. Any establishment with outdoor dining should review the complete guide.
Read More
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
1 2