DCRA To Allow Single-Family Renters to Self-Certify Property

by Nena Perry-Brown

A rowhouse rental in Columbia Heights.

As part of Mayor Bowser’s fall legislative agenda, it was announced that the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is altering its rules to allow owners of single-family rentals that meet various housing code requirements to circumvent the inspection process and self-certify the property.

This amendment to DCRA regulations will streamline the process many homeowners go through to obtain basic business licenses. An additional piece of legislation entitled the “Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Community Partnership Amendment Act of 2016” will also exempt many other individuals and entities who annually do less than 30 days of business or who gross less than $2,000 from having to obtain a basic business license.

Both these changes come after the mayor’s recent week-long review of DCRA.

See other articles related to: dcra

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dcra_to_allow_single-family_renters_to_self-certify_their_property/11710

1 Comment

  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 12:59 pm on Friday September 23, 2016:

    Having gone through the current process for a single-family rental, I can attest that reform is certainly needed.

    Aside from the Basic Business License, all of the (many, many) other forms and approvals were aimed at large rental landlords, clearly written with the assumption that the landlords are scumbag cheapskate discriminators. It was impossible to figure out how most of the forms applied to a single-family rental at all.  I ended up calling numerous DC agencies for direction.  A few provided specific directions, but mostly the guidance consisted of, “Well, just fill out the parts that make the most sense and leave the rest blank.  If we need something else, we’ll let you know.”  Apparently, I had good intuition about this, because none let me know of deficiences.

    Worst of all, after going through all this, there is no specific end point.  The Basic Business License, oddly enough, is the starting point, rather than the thing that is issued at the end. Some parts of the process require input/approvals from others, but there is no end point, no item indicating completion of all approvals.  As one of the DC employees and an attorney friend both counseled, “Just do your best, keep all the paperwork, and if it’s ever challenged at least it’s clear that you tried in good faith.”

    I’m pleased to see that this problem has merited the attention of the Mayor.  Whether her solution makes sense, I can’t tell.

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