DC LawLandlord TenantlawDC Introduces New Tenant-Friendly Eviction Procedures

July 21, 20180

This month the D.C. Council introduced and passed new legislation establishing new eviction procedures and requirements for housing providers before, during, and immediately after a residential eviction. The new requirements are as follows:

1. Tenants may not be evicted while precipitation is falling at the location of the rental unit (this includes rain and snow), nor shall the personal property of the evicted tenant be placed outdoors in the rain.

2. Housing providers are required to provide notice of the eviction by a conspicuous posting. The notice must be provided at least two weeks in advance and provide the exact eviction date.

3. Tenant’s property will not be removed from the unit on the eviction date. Instead, tenants will have 24 hours to retrieve their belongings. However, the locks to the property can be changed on the eviction date.

4. The landlord is required to give tenants the opportunity to choose to have their property held for 7 days after the eviction. The tenant must elect this option in writing and must be notified of this option.

5. The housing provider must hold an evicted tenant’s personal property in the rental unit and give the tenant reasonable access to remove such property, rather than transporting the property to a storage facility. “Reasonable access” means at least 8 continuous hours at times agreed to by the parties.

6. After the 7-day waiting period, the housing provider may dispose of abandoned property in any lawful manner, including sale. If a housing provider sells the evicted tenants abandoned property, any funds from such a sale are required to be applied to the evicted tenants account. The housing provider cannot place the property on the street.

7. Finally, the housing provider is not liable to the evicted tenant for civil damages for the loss, damage, or destruction of an evicted tenant’s personal property if these procedures are followed.

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