When & How D.C.’s Eviction Moratorium Ends

In Legislation, Real Estate by Richard Bianco

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.

Now (As Of 9/26/21): Evictions Resume, Limited Case Filings & Vacate Notices

As it presently stands notices of delinquent rent are permitted. However, the content requirements are very particular. The new notices are 60 days, instead of 30, and includes information about rental assistance and tenants legal rights.

Since May, landlords have been able to give notices, file cases, and evict to safeguard the health/safety of other residents. These cases involve severe behavior such as crimes, acts of violence, threats of bodily harm or property damage.

Within the last month, evictions have resumed. First, pre-pandemic evictions that were canceled due to the moratorium are bing rescheduled. Next, cases that were decided during the moratorium will be scheduled for eviction. Finally, new cases will be scheduled as they conclude. Since landlords are now required to send a 30 day notice of the scheduled eviction, the Marshal’s Service is scheduling evictions 5-6 weeks out.

Beginning on September 26th, landlords could send vacate notices for all reasons. Most commonly these are lease violations or for personal use and occupancy cases. Of course there are other types of vacate notices such as substantial rehabilitation, demolition and discontinuance of housing use. Additionally owners can also move forward with notices to foreclosed former owners and housing cooperatives can start the eviction process on terminated members.

October 12, 2021: New Rent Case Filings

Provided that the landlord has given the appropriate 60 day notice, the time has expired, and all other filing pre-requisites have been met (pursuing STAY DC assistance and having a current basic business license) new nonpayment of rent cases can be filed.

December 31, 2021: Rent Increase Notices

Landlords may begin to send rent increase notices. If the rent increase notice is served exactly on December 31, 2021, the increase can take effect on February 1, 2022. However, if it is not served until the following day or later in January, the effective date will not be until March 1, 2021. That makes service on New Years Eve of critical importance.

January 1, 2022: All Other Filings

All other case types can be filed beginning on January 1. That includes Rental Housing Act Cases for which the notice has expired as well as foreclosed owners/co-op member cases and cases in which no notice is required, such as unauthorized occupant/squatter/trespasser cases and commercial cases.

It has been a frustrating couple of years for landlords who have been forced to house non-paying and sometimes dangerous tenants, in many cases, for free. Moreover, tenant advocates and certain Council members have used the Pandemic as cover to put up additional procedural barriers which will further hinder an already broken and inefficient eviction process. In my last post I identified and discussed some of the new temporary and permanent requirements. If you have questions, we are here to assist. Simply make an appointment for a consultation using our online scheduling tool.