A client recently asked me about regular DC nightclubs, without nude entertainment licenses, having exotic dancer parties. “Is this legal?” Probably not, but it depends on what the dancers are doing.
This is a confusing issue for bars and restaurant owners, that I have received a number of questions on. That is due in no small part to the extensive, but incomplete coverage of the Cashless Retailer’s Prohibition Act of 2020. The short answer is YES, owner’s can refuse to accept cash, for now.
DC has one of, if not the strictest, eviction moratoria in the country. The Council’s so-called “off-ramp” is a series of expiration dates when different aspects of the eviction protections come to an end. Below is a summary of the relevant dates and details on what actions landlords may take.
Evictions and case filings in DC are resuming gradually after a 19-month ban. The Council has complicated the process with new requirements, many of which are identified here. We understand that landlords may have additional questions and are glad to help navigate the process.
A new law making it tougher for landlords to evict tenants took effect on November 9, 2020. Among the tenant protections in the Fairness in Renting Emergency Amendment Act, is a requirement that landlords have a current housing basic business license in order to access the courts and file an eviction case. This is a change from the Superior Court’s existing precedent, which allowed even unlicensed owners to pursue eviction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.