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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many DC Landlords simply use free lease form they find on the internet. Don’t. The money you will save is peanuts compared to the potential liability.
In the time crunch before the end of the Council Period, it seems that the years-in-the-making legislation to quell the practice of rent concessions will finally come to fruition.
Brief history lesson: prior to 2006 Rent Control was based on a system of rent ceilings. The “ceiling” was the maximum chargeable rent under the statute. For a variety of reasons, the “ceiling” would typically be substantially higher than the market rent.
In October the Council took a preliminary vote to adopt among the most restrictive short-term housing regulations (AirBnB Law) in the Country. This week the Council passed the final version of the law, with only small changes. The new law will be a potentially huge impediment for owners who earn money renting out their property via sites like AirBnB, Homeaway, or VRBO.
Two or more people own a house, and one co-owner decides that he or she no longer wants to be an owner. What, can be done? It’s called ‘partition’ and it happens all the time, in a variety of circumstances.