Sure, itâ€™s a great idea to buy property in DC for investment purposes. Perhaps it wasnâ€™t always a dream to be a landlord, but many find themselves in that situation or are given that opportunity through inheritances. Regardless of how you were given that landlord hat, DC has licensing requirements and you must follow them.
The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) outlines, â€œResidential Housing licenses are required for all rental properties in the District of Columbia including Homes, Apartments, Condominiums, Basement Apartments and Apartment Buildings.â€
The IknowDC.com team looked to DCRA to describe the four licenses as the following:
1) Apartment License: This classification applies if you rent or lease apartments in dwellings with 3 or more units, whether or not the units are occupied, or offered for occupancy, for a consideration.
2) Two Family Rental License: This classification applies to you if you own and rent out an English basement apartment or converted basement apartment, youâ€™ll need to apply for a Basic Business License for each rental location and youâ€™ll also need to obtain an inspection and approval from DCRAâ€™s Inspections and Compliance Division along with a Certificate of Occupancy.
3) One Family Rental License: This classification applies to you if you own and rent out single-family homes, town houses, duplexes, individual condominium units or individual rooms. Youâ€™ll need to apply for a Basic Business License for each rental location.
4) Cooperative Association License: This classification applies if you have an association (of homeowners, property owners, tenants, or cooperative owners) for the purpose of owning and operating residential real property in the District, with shareholders or members by reason of their stock ownership, membership certificate, proprietary lease or occupancy agreement.
Donâ€™t worry, it isnâ€™t difficult to obtain licensing. Your Realtor can hold your hand through the process or point you to the right government office for further assistance. Holding on to your starter property can reap great returns, but just remember to follow your local rental licensing regulations to avoid fines.
â€“Mark Rutstein, Washington DC â€“ Realtorâ€“
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