The Catholic University of America

Summary of District of Columbia Laws

Real Property

"Rental Housing Act of 1985"

D.C. Code Ann. § 42-3501.01 et seq.

The Law: Due to the shortage of rental housing in the District, this Act is intended to protect tenants from rising costs and provide incentives for new construction and improvements. The Act includes provisions for rent stabilization, a "tenant assistance program," and other miscellaneous provisions regarding residential rentals.

Q and A:

Q. Are student dorms covered under landlord tenant laws?

A. If a building is owned by a University and 95% of the occupants are students of that University, it is considered a "dorm" under DC law. DC Code Section 42-3502.05(e) provides that rent control laws do not apply to dorms. So, this exempts dorms from the rent stabilization and eviction control provisions of DC law. Dorms are still subject to various other housing regulations. (answer courtesy of Linda Schutjer, Associate General Counsel, The George Washington University.

 Updated 7.19.16 K.S.C.