Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3531.07. Duties of the Office of the Tenant Advocate.

The Office shall:

(1) Provide education and outreach to tenants and the community about laws, rules, and other policy matters involving rental housing, including tenant rights under the petition process and formation of tenant organizations;

(2) Represent the interests of tenants and tenant organizations in legislative, executive, and judicial issues, including advocating changes in laws and rules and reviewing landlord petitions on behalf of tenants;

(3) Advise tenants and tenant organizations on filing complaints and petitions, including petitions in response to disputes with landlords;

(4) Advise and assist tenants and tenant organizations at conciliation meetings;

(5)(A) Represent tenants, at its discretion and as it determines to be in the public interest, in Federal or District judicial or administrative proceedings;

(B) Provide an annual report to the Council on or before February 1 of each year setting forth each tenant request for representation, a description of the circumstances surrounding each request, whether or not the Office provided representation, and the outcome of cases where representation was provided;

(6) Organize tenant and tenant organizations participation in building-wide inspections;

(6A) Provide emergency housing and relocation assistance to qualified tenants, as determined by the Office, including payments for:

(A) The short-term relocation of tenants to hotels, motels, or other appropriate accommodations;

(B) The moving and storage of personal property;

(C) Rental application fees, security deposits, and utility deposits; and

(D) The first month’s rent;

(7) Operate a Tenant Phone Hotline and Tenant Center; and

(8) Publish a Tenant Bill of Rights, which shall be updated periodically, and noticed in the District of Columbia Register.