Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3503.05. Approval and maintenance of rental units; obligations of families.

(a) Rental units which the Department determines are decent, safe, and sanitary as required by the housing regulations, any other statute or regulation governing the condition of residential premises, and the requirements of this subchapter are eligible for tenant assistance.

(b) The following units are not eligible for tenant assistance as provided by this subchapter:

(1) Housing units receiving rent assistance under any federal housing program, or public housing that is managed by the District government;

(2) Nursing homes, units within the grounds of penal, reformatory, medical and similar public or private institutions, and facilities providing continual psychiatric, medical, or nursing service; or

(3) Units occupied by the housing provider.

(c) As required by the Department, units shall be inspected to determine whether they are decent, safe, and sanitary as set forth in § 42-3503.01(3). Regardless of the number of bedrooms stated on the certificate of eligibility, the Department shall not prohibit a family from renting an otherwise acceptable unit on the ground that it is too large for the family. If the Department determines that the assisted unit occupied by a participating family does not meet the space requirement because of an increase in family size or a change in family composition, the Department shall issue the participating family a new certificate of eligibility. If an acceptable unit is found that is available for occupancy by the family, the Department shall terminate the tenant assistance contract for the original unit in accordance with its terms.

(d) The following maintenance, operation, and inspection requirements shall apply:

(1) The housing provider shall provide all the services, maintenance, and utilities which the housing provider agrees to provide under the contract, subject to abatement of housing assistance payments or other applicable remedies if the housing provider fails to meet these obligations.

(2) A housing provider may collect a security deposit from a family not to exceed 1 month’s rent. If the family determines it is unable to pay the security deposit, it may apply to the Department for a repayable advance to cover the difference between the amount the family can afford, as determined by the Department, and the security deposit requested by the housing provider. When the Department decides to provide an advance to the family, the family shall enter into an agreement with the Department for repayment on terms prescribed by the Department. The Department shall establish a reasonable schedule for the repayment to minimize the hardship for the family.

(3) Subject to District law, after the family moves from the unit the housing provider may use the security deposit as reimbursement for any unpaid rent payable by the family or other amounts which the family owes under the lease. The housing provider shall give the family a written list of all items charged against the security deposit and the amount of each item. After deducting the amount used to reimburse the housing provider, the housing provider shall refund promptly to the family the full amount of the unused balance.

(4) The Department shall conduct reexaminations of family income and composition at least annually. The Department shall adjust the amount of each family’s tenant assistance payment at the time of the annual reexamination to reflect any changes in family monthly income using the applicable payment or adjustment standard.

(e)(1) A family shall:

(A) Supply any certification, release, information, or documentation the Department determines to be necessary in the administration of the program;

(B) Allow the Department to inspect the rental unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice;

(C) Notify the Department before vacating the rental unit; and

(D) Use the rental unit solely for residence by the family, and as the family’s principal place of residence, and shall not sublease or assign the lease or transfer the unit.

(2) A family shall not:

(A) Own or have any interest in the dwelling unit;

(B) Commit any fraud in connection with the Tenant Assistance Program; and

(C) Receive duplicative assistance under the Tenant Assistance Program and any other federal or District housing assistance program.