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Newest Coronavirus Law Clarifies Landlord Obligations

In Legislation, Real Estate by Richard Bianco

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.

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DC’s New Coronavirus Law Requires Rent Payment Plans

In Legislation, Real Estate by Richard Bianco

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.

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Breaking The Lease: Tenant Move-Out Before Lease End

In Real Estate by Richard Bianco

Over the last month, an increasing number of tenants have been moving-out of their apartments early to live with family for the duration of the global health crisis. When this happens, landlords often do not know what to do. Below is a brief outline of the steps to take when a tenant abandons a rental unit.

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New COVID-19 Law for DC Landlords

In Real Estate by Richard Bianco

The COVID-19 Response Supplemental Emergency law. provides mortgage deferment, rent freezes, stops notices to vacate and protects consumers from certain debt collection activities. Obviously, the law was hastily drafted and it is not completely clear how it will be applied. This post will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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Commercial Lease Agreements in DC: ‘Must Haves’ for Landlords

In Real Estate by Richard Bianco

When the courts interpret a commercial lease, they assume that both landlord and tenant are sophisticated businesspeople with equal negotiating leverage. Unlike residential tenancies, there are no legal presumptions to favor tenants in eviction cases. That makes the specific language of a commercial lease extremely important. Below, I list, and explain, what I see as the most important commercial lease provisions for landlords.

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DC Rent Control Exemptions

In Real Estate by Richard Bianco

I ask most new clients if they are registered for rent control or if they have “perfected an exemption.” Often, the response is, ‘I’m exempt, I only have 1 unit.”

If you read carefully, you’ll realize that is not the question that I asked. “Have you PERFECTED an exemption from rent control?” In DC you may be eligible for an exemption from rent control if you ( not your corporation) own less than four (4) rental units. The so-called “small landlord” rent control exemption is very common, but there are other reasons that a housing provider might be eligible for an exemption.

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DC Eviction Guide For Landlords

In Real Estate by Richard Bianco

Eviction of a tenant in DC is more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive than anywhere else in the country. The laws and regulations are heavily slanted against landlords and free lawyers are readily available to tenants. Presently, there are only ten (10) legal reasons that a landlord can evict a tenant, all of which are interpreted very strictly.

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DC Security Deposit Rules

In Real Estate by Richard Bianco

If you are or want to be a landlord in DC you may have a lot of worries about your legal responsibilities. Collecting a security deposit, like everything else in the DC rental business has very specific and technical rules. This post covers the basics of what you need to know.

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How Is DC Going To Enforce Its AirBnB Law?

In Real Estate by Richard Bianco

When D.C. adopted one of the most stringent laws in the country to regulate transient, so-called ‘AirBnB’ rentals, the practical reality of actually implementing it took a back seat in the public debate. The recent struggles of New York City with its Air BnB restrictions raises a serious question about D.C.’s ability to actually enforce its ambitious measure.

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D.C. Council Stops Evictions for Federal Workers

In Legislation, Real Estate by Richard Bianco

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.