The District of Columbia Landlord-Tenant Laws

Tenant Screening in District of Columbia

Regarding Security Deposit

The District of Columbia state law allows landlords to collect up to one month’s rent for a security deposit, and not more.

The District of Columbia law requires landlords to place the security deposit into an interest-bearing account. The landlord must pay the tenant the interest from the account at the end of the tenancy.

Tenant security deposits and interest must be returned within 45 days after the lease terminates. If the landlord is deducting for expenses, the tenant must receive an itemized list of repairs.

The District of Columbia laws concerning security deposits can be found in D.C. Code Ann. § 42-3502.17.

Regarding Application Fees

The District of Columbia law sets no limits the amount a landlord can charge for an application fee.

Regarding Tenant Bad Checks

Civil Penalties: Amount of the check plus protest fees.

Criminal Penalties: The tenant could get up to 3 years in jail, a $3,000 fine, or both.

Allowable Fees: $15

Regarding Notice of Termination for Nonpayment

The laws of the District of Columbia allow landlords to include a clause in the lease agreement that is a waiver of notice to quit. This means that landlords do not have to provide a written eviction notice for nonpayment of rent and can proceed with the eviction process. according to Del. Rev. Stat. Ann. §33-1368. If the notice is not included in the lease agreement, the tenant has 30 days to pay rent or leave.

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