Only rent from a licensed landlord. Although landlords listing through the University’s rental site “OHC101” are licensed, you should not assume that rental properties listed elsewhere have licensed landlords.
DC law requires that property owners obtain a Basic Business License (BBL) from the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) in order to legally rent their property. A condition of obtaining a BBL is the property’s satisfactory inspection by the DCRA for basic life safety requirements, such as egress, electrical systems, smoke detectors, and so forth.
IS YOUR FUTURE LANDLORD LICENSED?
How to check if a property’s landlord has a BBL:
- Go to the DC Property Information Verification System site
- Fill in the rental property’s address
- Go to the bottom of the page, looking on the left hand side
- Click on the tab labeled “BBL”