Investigation of Unlicensed Renters in District Not That Simple

Several commenters on our Facebook pages said they submitted lists of alleged illegal rental units in condominium buildings several months ago and still see that the units are unlicensed.  We can appreciate your frustration. However, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs cannot enter a building or an individual unit without the consent of the property owner and the tenant unless there is an extremely dangerous c0ndition.  Several lists provided to us included addresses for secured buildings with both condo owners and alleged illegal renters. We have attempted to contact and investigate dozens of these units, but have had minimal success in gaining entry. For other buildings where everyone is a tenant, it is clear and easy for us to determine if the entire building is licensed. For single family homes with basement apartments, it is easy to determine externally whether the seperate unit is being rented without a license. However, for condo buildings this is nearly impossible without the consent of the owner and/or tenants. We send letters to the units and owners, but for the past few attempts we have had minimal luck. Please continue to send us lists and tips, but we wanted to let you know, especially for condo buildings where you have owners and renters, this task is difficult. Often a letter to the renter warning them that they are being rented to illegally is enough to get them to answer begin to ask some questions. And without any other recourse, this is the most we are allowed to do legally.

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