Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3502.04. Duties of the Rent Administrator.

(a) The Rent Administrator shall draft rules and procedures for the administration of this chapter to be transmitted to the Rental Housing Commission for its action under § 42-3502.02(a)(1).

(b) The Rent Administrator shall carry out, according to rules and procedures established by the Rental Housing Commission under § 42-3502.02(a)(1), the rent stabilization program established under this subchapter, and shall perform other duties necessary and appropriate to, and consistent with this chapter.

(c) The Rent Administrator shall have jurisdiction over those complaints and petitions arising under subchapters II, IV, V, VI, and IX of this chapter and title V of the Rental Housing Act of 1980 which may be disposed of through administrative proceedings.

(d)(1) The Rent Administrator may employ, with funds available to the Rent Administrator, personnel and consultants, including hearing examiners, accountants, and legal counsel, reasonably necessary to carry out this chapter.

(2) In accordance with the regulations issued by the Rental Housing Commission, the Rent Administrator may delegate authority to those employees appointed in conformity with paragraph (1) of this subsection. This authority may include, but is not limited to:

(A) Hearing administrative petitions filed or initiated under this chapter;

(B) Issuing decisions on the petitions; and

(C) Rendering final orders on any petition heard by those employees.

(e) The Rent Administrator or a designee may attend all policy meetings of the Rental Housing Commission.

(f) The Rent Administrator shall establish and maintain a formal relationship with the Landlord/Tenant Branch of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department.

(g) The Rent Administrator may issue at the request of any person an advisory opinion on issues of first impression under this chapter.

(h)(1) The Rent Administrator may hold hearings, sit and act at those times and places within the District, administer oaths, and require by subpoena or otherwise the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents the Rent Administrator may consider necessary in carrying out his or her functions under this chapter.

(2) In the case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued under paragraph (1) of this subsection by any person who resides in, is found in, or transacts business within the District, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, at the written request of the Rent Administrator, shall issue to the contumacious person an order requiring that person to appear before the Rent Administrator, to produce evidence if so ordered, or to give testimony touching upon the matter under inquiry. Any failure of that person to obey any order of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia may be punished by that Court as contempt.

(i) Upon the written request of the Rent Administrator, each department or entity of the District government may furnish directly to the Rent Administrator assistance and information necessary to discharge effectively the functions required under this chapter.

(j) The Rent Administrator shall publish in English and Spanish within 60 days after July 17, 1985, a booklet or other written material describing the rights and obligations of tenants and housing providers and procedures under this chapter. This material shall be distributed through the District libraries and other District offices with which the public has frequent contact and at the office of any community organization which requests to distribute the material.

(k) The Rent Administrator shall publish within 30 days after July 17, 1985, and prior to March 1 of each subsequent year in the D.C. Register the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for all items, in the Washington, D.C., Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA), during the preceding calendar year.

(l) In preparation for the transfer of jurisdiction of the Rent Administrator’s adjudicatory function to the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to § 2-1831.03(b-1), the Rent Administrator shall submit a plan to the Mayor and Council by December 31, 2004 describing how the Rent Administrator’s office will function after its adjudicatory responsibilities are transferred to the Office of Administrative Hearings, the legislative changes needed to prepare the Rent Administrator for its new role, and the resources needed to maintain its non-adjudicatory functions. The plan shall be developed in consultation with the Office of Administrative Hearings.