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District of Columbia

These resources – like the public health crisis itself – are constantly evolving and are only current as to the date of publication. This page was last updated on September 3, 2020.

For more up-to-date information on the relief programs available in the District of Columbia, we recommend that you visit D.C.'s COVID-19 Recovery Resources or Food Resources.

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Description of Program and Relief

Additional Tenants’ Rights

As part of the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, deadlines for tenants and tenant organizations to exercise their rights under either the Rental Housing Conversion and Sale Act of 1980 (which includes the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA)) or the Rental Housing Act of 1985 are extended to a date 30 days following the end of the state of emergency. Click here for more information.

Additional emergency legislation has been passed (the Coronavirus Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2020) that expands on the protections previously provided. One such amendment is a provision for refunding amenity fees. The bill provides that if a tenant pays an amenity fee in addition to rent for an amenity that is closed due to the public health emergency, the landlord is required to refund that fee to the tenant pro rata. The bill also provides that during the public health emergency, the owner or representative of the owner must clean common areas of residential housing accommodations on a regular basis, including surfaces that are regularly touched, such as doors, railings, seating, and the exterior of mailboxes.

Government or Lead Agency

Office of the Tenant Advocate

Dates Available

N/A

Eligibility Requirements/Restrictions

So long as the tenant pays the amenity fee in addition to their rent they are eligible for the refund.

For purposes of the cleaning requirement, a “housing accommodation” means any structure or building in D.C. containing one or more residential units that are not occupied by the owner of the housing accommodation, including any apartment, efficiency apartment, room, accessory dwelling unit, cooperative, homeowner association, condominium, multifamily apartment building, nursing home, assisted living facility, and group home.

Application Deadlines (If Applicable)

N/A

Contact for More Information

Please call (202) 719-6560 to contact the Office of the Tenant Advocate.

List of Additional Information

The Office of the Tenant Advocate has put together a document to help tenants understand their rights and available services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, which can be found here.


© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. This does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising. Past representations are no guarantee of future outcomes.

© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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