So you have decided to make some extra money by renting out your home in Washington DC . Before making the leap, there are a few things you need to consider.
Did you know that most states have Landlord/Tenant laws that can affect what you can and cannot do within the rental relationship? How about local health codes and/or city or county licensing requirements for rental properties? Further, did you know that failure to have the District of Columbia’s Basic Business License could cost you fines and fees of up to $2000 per month? Do you have to have carbon monoxide detectors or how many smoke detectors are required? When is rent due and what is the legal late fee? And then there is the question of security deposits: whose money is it and when does it need to be returned? How do you make a claim to be reimbursed for expenses incurred by the tenant?
The District of Columbia requires a Basic Business License to legally rent your property. The process of registering your property can be quite intimidating. It starts with registering your new business with the Office of Tax and Revenue and continues with the registration of the property with DC’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) including a Clean Hands Certification. Next, an in-depth inspection with a DCRA Inspector is conducted, passing inspection, and lastly registering the property with DC Housing’s Rental Accommodations Division. Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be! Real Property Management Washington DC can handle this process for you from start to finish! Need help? Inquire within!
As you can see there is quite a bit to know about being a Washington DC Landlord and many ways to put your investment property and yourself at risk by not following guidelines, rules, ordinances and laws pertaining to rental properties. Before renting out your home, make sure you familiarize yourself with these items and talk with your insurance provider to make sure you have an investment property or landlord policy as a homeowner’s policy will not cover loss, damage or injury once you are no longer the primary resident in the home. You will need to plan spending three to seven hours to familiarize yourself with the various legal and insurance considerations before renting out your home.
Next you will need to have a way that the prospective renters can apply to rent your property. Leases can be purchased online or at an office supply store for low prices ($30-$40). However, many times these leases are not compliant to your local laws, and expose you as a Landlord to undue risk and liability. Use caution to ensure that you are not inadvertently violating renter’s rights by asking questions that may be unlawful as a landlord to ask. It is a good idea to have your lease reviewed by legal counsel to ensure the lease protects your rights as well as is compliant with your state’s laws. You will need to plan spending two to three hours finding a lease, as well as $100 to $300 for an attorney to review your lease to ensure that it complies with regulations.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.