Resource from DC OAG: Informal Tenants Are Protected
The Office of the DC Attorney General just released an important resource in English and Spanish informing DC tenants of their rights during and after the COVID crisis, and confirming that these rights also apply to tenants in informal housing situations (ie, without a written lease) and regardless of their immigration status
This is vital because DC’s most vulnerable tenants don’t have formal leases, but rather sublet rooms in apartments, live in people’s basements, or informally share living space. These tenants are protected too! Some of the protections highlighted in the flyer include:
- A ban on evictions and late fees until 30 days after the end of the public health emergency
- A permanent ban on self-help evictions (these are evictions outside of the normal court process)
- A requirement that landlord enters into repayment agreements with tenants for past due rent and not report overdue rent to credit reporting agencies for one year after the public health emergency ends
- A ban on any utility disconnections for anyone’s gas, water, electricity, cable, internet, or phone during the public health emergency.
Tenants who fear losing their homes during the crisis or fear their right might be violated can contact the Office of the DC Attorney General at (202) 442-9828, Consumer.Protection@dc.gov, or by filing a complaint on their website.