The "Elderly Tenant and Tenant with a Disability Protection Amendment Act of 2016" (DC Law 21-239, effective April 7, 2017) (the Act), https://ota.dc.gov/release/housing-affordability-protections-elderly-tenants-and-tenants-disability enhances the affordability of rent-controlled units that are occupied by elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities. Here is what you need to know as a renter in the District of Columbia:
- Elderly is defined as a tenant who is 62 years of age or older.
- The benefit is the least of: (1) the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W); (2) 5 percent of the current rent charged; or (3) the SS COLA. The landlord cannot charge the 2.0% administrative fee charged to all other residents. For example, if the CPI is 3.0%, you would only have a 1.0% increase.
- A tenant with a disability is anyone with ("a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities").
- If a tenant qualifies as having elderly or disability status within 12 months of a rent increase, the housing provider must adjust the previous rent increase downward to reflect that status, and this adjustment must be made effective as of the first month after the tenant has registered his or her status with RAD.
- To qualify you must register your elderly or disability status, along with the required proof of status, with the Rental Accommodations Division (RAD) of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), https://dhcd.dc.gov/, RAD is located at 1800 Martin Luther King Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20020, and can be contacted by phone at (202) 442-9505. Please contact us for the necessary form.
- The Act makes it easier to register elderly or disability status with RAD by allowing registration via mail, fax (202) 645-5884, e-Mail (email@example.com), or in person.
- Once registered, a copy (processed and approved by DHCD) must be delivered by hand to the manager of the property, and a copy retained for your records. Record the date of delivery and the name of the person receiving the building's copy.
If you have any questions, concerns, or wish to speak to an attorney, contact the Office of Tenant Advocate https://ota.dc.gov/ (OTA) at (202) 719-6560.
Note: The above is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.