CODES

ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Property Maintenance Code 2012 (IPMC 2012)

Chapter 1 Scope and Administration

Chapter 1 ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

Chapter 2 Definitions

Chapter 3 General Requirements

Chapter 4 Light, Ventilation and Occupancy Limitations

Chapter 5 Plumbing Facilities and Fixture Requirements

Chapter 6 Mechanical and Electrical Requirements

Chapter 7 Fire Safety Requirements

Chapter 8 Referenced Standards

Appendix A Boarding Standard

Section 101 GENERAL

STATE AMENDMENT

101.1 Title

STATE AMENDMENT
The District of Columbia Property Maintenance Code (2013), hereinafter referred to as the “Property Maintenance Code,” shall consist of the 2012 edition of the International Property Maintenance Code, as amended by the D.C. Property Maintenance Code Supplement (2013) (12 DCMR G).

101.2 Scope

STATE AMENDMENT
The scope of the Property Maintenance Code shall be as defined in Section 101.4.5.3 of 12 DCMR A.

101.3 Intent

STATE AMENDMENT
The intent of the Property Maintenance Code shall be as defined in Section 101.4.5.4 of 12 DCMR A.

101.4 Severability

STATE AMENDMENT
The provisions of Sections 102.5, Severability, and 102.5.1, Severance of Invalid Provisions, of 12 DCMR A, shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.

Section 102 APPLICABILITY

STATE AMENDMENT
Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement shall govern. Where differences occur between provisions of the Property Maintenance Code and its referenced standards, the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code shall apply. Where, in a specific case, different sections of the Property Maintenance Code specify different requirements, the most restrictive shall govern.

102.2 Maintenance

STATE AMENDMENT
Equipment, systems, devices and safeguards required by the Property Maintenance Code or a previous regulation or code under which the structure or premises was constructed, altered or repaired shall be maintained in good working order. No owner, operator or occupant shall cause any service, facility, equipment or utility which is required under this section to be removed from or shut off from or discontinued for any occupied dwelling, except for such temporary interruption as necessary while repairs or alterations are in progress. The requirements of the Property Maintenance Code are not intended to provide the basis for removal or abrogation of fire protection and safety systems and devices in existing structures. Except as otherwise specified herein, the owner or the owner’s designated agent shall be responsible for the maintenance of buildings, structures and premises.
Repairs, additions, demolition, razing or alterations to a structure, or changes of use or occupancy, shall be done in accordance with the provisions of the Construction Codes. Nothing in the Property Maintenance Code shall be construed to cancel, modify or set aside any provision of the Construction Codes or the Zoning Regulations, Title 11 DCMR.

102.4 Existing remedies

STATE AMENDMENT
The provisions in the Property Maintenance Code shall not be construed to abolish or impair existing remedies of the District of Columbia or its officers or agencies relating to the condemnation, removal or demolition of any structure which is dangerous, unsafe and/or unsanitary, the abatement of nuisance property, or the maintenance of vacant buildings.

102.4.1 Code precedence

STATE AMENDMENT
If a conflict arises between the Housing Code, Title 14 DCMR, Subtitle A and the Property Maintenance Code, the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code shall take precedence.

102.5 Workmanship

STATE AMENDMENT
Repairs, maintenance work, alterations or installations which are caused directly or indirectly by the enforcement of the Property Maintenance Code shall be executed and installed in a workmanlike manner, installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions, and use materials of a quality and kind suitable for the purpose for which used and of a kind normally used in the applicable trade.

102.6 Historic buildings

STATE AMENDMENT
Any building or other structure that is listed (either as an individual listing or as a contributing resource to a listed historic district) in the D.C. or National Register of Historic Places shall be exempt from specific provisions of the Property Maintenance Code; provided, that (a) the D.C. Historic Preservation Officer or the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places certifies that compliance with the specific provisions of the Property Maintenance Code will cause the loss of irretrievable historic components that may lead to the de-listing of the building or other structure; and (b) the code official determines the exemption does not adversely affect the safety of the building or other structure or the public interest of health, safety and welfare.
The provisions of Section 102.4, Referenced Standards, of 12 DCMR A, shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.

Exception: Where enforcement of a Property Maintenance Code provision would violate the conditions of the listing of the equipment or appliance, the conditions of the listing shall apply.
Requirements necessary for the strength, stability or proper operation of an existing fixture, structure or equipment, or for the public health, safety and welfare, not specifically covered by the Property Maintenance Code, shall be determined by the code official.
References to chapter or section numbers, or to provisions not specifically identified by number, shall be construed to refer to such chapter, section or provision of the Property Maintenance Code.

102.10 Other laws

STATE AMENDMENT
The provisions of the Property Maintenance Code shall not be deemed to nullify any provisions of local or federal law.
The storage of equipment or materials that are listed as dangerous materials in 20 DCMR § 3106.2 or that will affect either the base flood elevation or the floodway in any Special Flood Hazard Area, as delineated on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Insurance Rate Map for the District (20 DCMR § 3101.2), shall be required to obtain a building permit from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, pursuant to 12 DCMR A § 105, and comply with the requirements of 20 DCMR Chapter 31.
The provisions of Section 103, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, of 12 DCMR A, shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.

103.2 Liability

STATE AMENDMENT
The provisions of Section 104.8, Relief from Personal Liability, of 12 DCMR A, shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.

103.3 Fees

STATE AMENDMENT
The fees for activities and services performed by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs in carrying out its responsibilities under the Property Maintenance Code shall be paid in accordance with the applicable fee schedule published in 12 DCMR M as amended from time to time.

104.1 General

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official shall enforce the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code.
The provisions of Section 104.1.1, Legal Authority, of 12 DCMR A, shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.

104.2 Inspections

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to make all of the required inspections, or to accept reports of inspection by approved agencies. The code official is authorized to engage such expert opinion as deemed necessary to report upon unusual technical issues that arise.

104.3 Right of entry

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to enter a structure or premises at all reasonable times to inspect and for the purpose of enforcing the Property Maintenance Code, subject to constitutional restrictions on unreasonable searches and seizures, and subject to the provisions of this Section. If entry is refused or not obtained, the code official is authorized to obtain an administrative search warrant issued pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 11-941 (2012 Repl.) or D.C. Superior Court Civil Rule 204 or to pursue any other recourse as provided by law.
The code official, both prior to the issuance of a housing business license and during the license period, is authorized at all reasonable hours, to enter and inspect the premises occupied or to be occupied by a housing business except as provided in Section 104.3.2
If it appears that any portion of a premises is under the exclusive control of a tenant, or if the operator of a housing business so claims, the code official shall not enter that portion of the premises without first having obtained permission from the tenant or the tenant’s agent, except as provided in Section 104.3.3.
If a tenant of a housing business does not give permission to inspect that portion of the premises under the tenant’s exclusive control, the code official shall not enter that portion of the premises unless the code official has:
  1. A valid administrative warrant permitting the inspection, issued pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 11-941 (2012 Repl.) or D.C. Superior Court Civil Rule 204; or
  2. A reasonable basis to believe that exigent circumstances require immediate entry into that portion of the premises in order to prevent any imminent danger to the public health or welfare.
     The refusal of any tenant to permit such an inspection shall not result in the revocation or suspension of the housing business license, nor shall such refusal result in the assessment of penalties against the operator of a housing business, provided however, that when the code official presents a valid administrative search warrant that permits inspection of premises under a tenant’s exclusive control, the tenant of a housing business who refuses to give permission to inspect that portion of the premises shall be in violation of the Property Maintenance Code.
If the owner or operator of a housing business, or agent of such owner or operator, refuses to permit the code official to inspect the premises occupied or to be occupied by a housing business, such refusal shall be cause for withholding the issuance of a license for those premises until the inspection is permitted, and/or cause for the revocation of any existing license.

104.3.4.1

STATE AMENDMENT
As a condition of receiving a housing business license under D.C. Official Code § 47-2828 (2012 Repl.), the owner or operator of a housing business must agree to:
  1. Allow access to the Department for any inspection required under the Construction Codes; and
  2. Notify any affected tenant whose unit requires inspection.

104.4 Identification

STATE AMENDMENT
The provisions of Section 104.5, Credentials, of 12 DCMR A, shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.

104.5 Notices and orders

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to issue all necessary notices or orders to ensure compliance with the Property Maintenance Code, and to institute administrative and legal actions to correct violations or infractions, including actions pursuant to An Act To provide for the abatement of nuisances in the District of Columbia by the Commissioners of said District, and for other purposes, approved April 14, 1906 [34 Stat. 114; D.C. Official Code § 42-3131.01 et seq. (2012 Repl.)], and the Abatement and Condemnation of Nuisance Properties Omnibus Amendment Act of 2002, effective April 19, 2002 [D.C. Law 14-114; D.C. Official Code § 42-3171.01 et seq. (2012 Repl.)].

104.6 Department records

STATE AMENDMENT
The provisions of Section 104.7, Department Records, of 12 DCMR A, shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.
Whenever in the enforcement of the Property Maintenance Code or another code or ordinance, the responsibility of more than one code official of the District is involved, it shall be the duty of the code officials involved to coordinate their inspections and administrative orders as fully as practicable so that the owners and occupants of the structure shall not be subjected to visits by numerous inspectors or multiple or conflicting orders.

Section 105 APPROVAL

STATE AMENDMENT

105.1 Modifications

STATE AMENDMENT
Whenever there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code, the code official shall have the authority to grant modifications for individual cases upon application of the owner or owner’s representative, provided the code official shall first find that special individual reasons makes the strict letter of the Property Maintenance Code impractical, that the modification is in compliance with the intent and purpose of the Property Maintenance Code, and that such modification does not lessen health, life and fire safety requirements or violate District law or regulations. The details of any action granting modifications shall be recorded and entered in the Department files.
The provisions of Section 104.11, Alternative Materials, Equipment, Methods of Construction and Design, of 12 DCMR A, shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.

105.3 Required testing

STATE AMENDMENT
Whenever there is insufficient evidence of compliance with the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code, or evidence that a material or method does not conform to the requirements of the Property Maintenance Code, or in order to substantiate claims for alternative materials or methods, the code official shall have the authority to require tests to be made as evidence of compliance at no expense to the jurisdiction.

105.3.1 Test methods

STATE AMENDMENT
Test methods shall be as specified in the Property Maintenance Code or by other recognized and accepted test methods in the industry. In the absence of recognized and accepted test methods, the code official shall be permitted to approve appropriate testing procedures performed by an agency approved by the code official.

105.3.2 Test reports

STATE AMENDMENT
The provisions of Section 104.7, Department Records, of 12 DCMR A, regarding retention of test reports, shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.
The provisions of Section 104.9.1, Used Materials, Equipment and Devices, of 12 DCMR A shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.
Any repair or improvement which may be required by a notice issued under the authority of the Property Maintenance Code for which a permit is required shall not be made until that permit has been issued by the District.
All work under a permit shall be done in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. The provisions of Section 102.4.1, Conflicts, of 12 DCMR A, shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.

106.1 Unlawful acts

STATE AMENDMENT
It shall be unlawful for a person, firm or corporation to be in conflict with or in violation of any of the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code.
Service of a notice of violation or order shall be in accordance with Section 107.
Whenever the code official has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of the Property Maintenance Code exists, he or she is authorized to take the following actions either singly or in combination in addition to imposing any other remedies or penalties otherwise available to the code official in the Property Maintenance Code or otherwise:
  1. Institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to prosecute, restrain, correct or abate such violation, or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful occupancy of the structure in violation of the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code or of the order or direction made pursuant thereto;
  2. Issue a notice of violation, which may afford the person responsible for the correction of the violation an opportunity to abate the violation;
  3. Issue a notice of infraction, assessing a fine for the infraction;
  4. Issue a combined notice of violation and notice of infraction;
  5. Issue an order requiring a deposit of collateral for uncorrected violations;
  6. Effect summary correction of the violation, or demolition of the structure, as authorized by law;
  7. Refer the property to the Board of Condemnation of Insanitary Buildings (BCIB) for condemnation proceedings pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 6-902 et seq. (2012 Repl & 2013 Supp.); or
  8. Issue any other order or notice authorized to be issued by the code official.
Any person who violates a provision of the Property Maintenance Code, or fails to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof, shall be subject to the penalties established hereafter and shall be subject to prosecution. In the event of any failure to comply with any provision of the Property Maintenance Code following service of a notice of violation or order in accordance with Section 107, each and every day such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.

106.4.1 Penalty

STATE AMENDMENT
Any person who violates any of the provisions of the Construction Codes or orders issued under the authority of the Construction Codes, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both, for each such offense. Each day a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense. Prosecutions pursuant to this section shall be brought in the name of the District of Columbia by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.
Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed, in addition to other available remedies, for any infraction of the provisions of the Construction Codes, including the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code, pursuant to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Civil Infractions Act of 1985, effective October 5, 1985 [D.C. Law 6-42; D.C. Official Code § 2-1801 et seq. (2012 Repl.)] (“Civil Infractions Act”). Violation of the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code shall be deemed a strict liability offense for which a fine may be imposed pursuant to the Civil Infractions Act and Title 16 of the DCMR. Adjudication of any infraction shall be pursuant to the Civil Infractions Act.

106.4.3 Culpability

STATE AMENDMENT
Any person, including a tenant, who causes a violation of the Property Maintenance Code, is subject to the same penalties as those provided in Section 106.4.

106.4.4 Separate offenses

STATE AMENDMENT
The penalties prescribed in Section 106.4 shall be applicable to each separate offense.
The violation of any of the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code may be grounds for denial, suspension or revocation of any housing business license or license endorsement under Chapter 28 of Title 47 of the D.C. Official Code and/or the Housing Code, Title 14 DCMR.
Notwithstanding any other penalties or remedies set forth in Section 106.4, where any person violates a provision of the Property Maintenance Code, or fails to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof, following notice as prescribed in Section 107 of this chapter, the code official may cause such condition to be corrected. The costs of any corrective action, and all expenses incident thereto, shall be deemed a special assessment and shall be assessed as a tax against the property on which the violating condition existed, bear interest and be collected in the same manner as delinquent general taxes in the District are collected, in accordance with D.C. Official Code § 47-1205 (2012 Repl). Nothing herein shall be construed to abolish or impair existing remedies relating to abatement of nuisance property, including, but not limited to, Chapters 31 and 31A of Title 42 of the D.C. Official Code, or to preclude conversion of a special assessment lien to an administrative judgment, enforceable in the same manner as any other civil judgment under District of Columbia law, as authorized by D.C. Official Code § 42-3131.01 (2012 Repl.).

106.6 Deposit of collateral

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to require a deposit of collateral as directed, from an owner or person(s) responsible, for uncorrected violations of the Property Maintenance Code where a notice or order has been issued for the violation, reinspection indicates that the violation has not been corrected, and no appeal from the notice or order is pending. The collateral amount shall be based on the reasonable estimated cost of labor and materials to correct the violative condition. The code official is authorized to draw down on the collateral deposited to cover the costs of summary abatement.
In addition to other penalties authorized by statute or regulation, whenever the code official determines that there has been a violation of the Property Maintenance Code or has grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, the code official is authorized to serve one or more of the following notices or orders, which may impose a fine or other penalty, on an owner or the person or persons responsible therefore:
  1. A notice of violation;
  2. A notice of infraction;
  3. A combined notice of violation and notice of infraction; or
  4. Any other order or notice authorized to be issued by the code official.
Service of a notice of violation or any other authorized notice or order, other than a notice of infraction, shall be in the manner prescribed in Sections 107.2 and 107.3, except as otherwise provided herein. Notices of infraction shall be issued in accordance with the procedures and fine amounts set forth in Section 201 of the Civil Infractions Act and Title 16 of the DCMR.
Issuance of a notice of violation, notice of infraction, or combined notice of violation and notice of infraction pursuant to this section, prior to taking other enforcement action, is at the discretion of the code official. Failure to issue a notice of violation, notice of infraction, or combined notice of violation and notice of infraction shall not be a bar or a prerequisite to criminal prosecution, civil action, corrective action, or civil infraction proceeding based upon a violation of the Property Maintenance Code.
Additional notice procedures may apply to historic buildings pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 6-801 et seq. (2012 Repl.).
Notices or orders issued under the Property Maintenance Code must:
  1. Be in writing;
  2. Include the name and address of the person or entity being cited;
  3. Include a description of the real estate sufficient for identification;
  4. Include a statement of the violation or violations, the code section(s) violated and why the notice or order is being issued;
  5. Include, if the notice or order affords an opportunity to abate a violation, a reasonable period of time by which the required repairs and improvements must be made;
  6. Include, if applicable, a specific time by which unsafe or imminently dangerous premises shall be closed, barricaded and/or vacated, or equipment placed out of service;
  7. Include a statement informing the property owner of the right to appeal pursuant to Section 107.8; and
  8. Include a statement of the District of Columbia’s right in accordance with Section 106.5 to abate the violation without the owner’s consent if the owner fails to comply with the notice or order or to file a timely appeal, to assess the costs of such abatement against the owner, and to place a tax lien on the property for the costs of such abatement.
Where the code official (a) issues a notice or order to close and barricade a residential structure or dwelling unit, pursuant to Section 108.3, or (b) posts a closure or imminently dangerous notice or order pursuant to Section 109.1.1, the following additional provisions shall apply:
  1. The notice or order shall specify a date by which tenants or occupants of the structure or unit are required to vacate the structure or unit;
  2. The notice or order shall include a statement informing tenants or occupants of the structure or unit of the right to appeal pursuant to Section 107.8, including, where applicable, the right to an expedited hearing pursuant to Section 107.8.2;
  3. A copy of the notice or order shall be provided to tenants in accordance with Section 107.7; and
  4. The notice shall provide contact information for the Office of the Tenant Advocate.
The code official shall effect service of any notice or order (except notices of infraction) upon the property owner or person(s) responsible for the violation or violations by one of the following methods, any of which shall be deemed proper service:
  1. Personal service on the property owner or persons responsible, or the agents thereof; or
  2. By electronic mail to the last-known electronic mail address of the person or business to be notified, provided that a copy of the notice or order is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the structure or premises affected by such notice; or
  3. Delivering the notice to the last known home or business address of the property owner or persons responsible as identified by the tax records, business license records, or corporate registration records, and leaving it with a person over the age of 16 years old residing or employed therein; or
  4. Mailing the notice, via first class mail postage pre-paid, to the last known home or business address of the property owner or persons responsible or the agents thereof as identified by the tax records, business license records or corporate registration records; or
  5. If the notice is returned as undeliverable by the Post Office authorities, or if no address is known or can be ascertained by reasonable diligence, by posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place in or about the structure or premises affected by such notice.
Signs, placards, tags, or seals posted or affixed by the code official shall not be mutilated, destroyed, obstructed or tampered with, or removed without authorization from the code official.

107.5 Penalties

STATE AMENDMENT
Penalties for noncompliance with the Property Maintenance Code shall be as set forth in Section 106.

107.6 Transfer of ownership

STATE AMENDMENT
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dwelling unit or structure upon whom a notice of violation or order has been served to sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of such dwelling unit or structure to another person or entity until the provisions of the notice or order have been complied with, or until such owner shall first furnish the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee a true copy of any notice or order issued by the code official and shall furnish to the code official a signed and notarized statement from the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee, acknowledging the receipt of such notice or order and fully accepting the responsibility without condition for making the corrections or repairs required by such notice or order.
After an inspection of a dwelling unit occupied by a tenant, the code official shall provide the tenant with a copy of any notice or order with respect to that unit issued to the owner pursuant to the Property Maintenance Code. This requirement will be satisfied by mailing a copy to the tenant by first-class mail, leaving a copy at the tenant’s residence or any other reasonable method in the code official’s discretion.
In any instance where a violation or violations of the Property Maintenance Code involve more than one tenant of a residential building or dwelling, including violations involving common space, the code official shall post a copy of any notice or order issued to the owner pursuant to Section 107 for a reasonable time in one or more locations within the building or buildings in which the deficiency exists. The locations for posting the notification shall be reasonably selected to give notice to all tenants affected. Any tenant directly affected by the violation(s) shall, upon request to the code official, be sent a copy of the posted notification.

107.7.1.1 Building closures

STATE AMENDMENT
Where the code official (a) issues an order or notice to close and barricade a residential structure or dwelling unit, pursuant to Section 108, or (b) posts a closure or imminently dangerous order or notice pursuant to Section 109, in addition to posting the notice or order as provided in Section 107.7.1, the code official shall provide a copy of the notice or order to each tenant affected by the notice or order by leaving a copy at each dwelling unit or any other reasonable method in the code official’s discretion.
No person shall alter, modify, destroy, obstruct or otherwise tamper with or mutilate a notification posted under Section 107.7.1 or Section 107.3.
The code official shall not be subject to any other tenant notification provisions, except as set forth in Section 107.

107.8 Appeal and hearing

STATE AMENDMENT
Any person directly affected by a notice or order issued under this Property Maintenance Code shall have the right to appeal to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). Except where an expedited hearing is requested pursuant to Section 107.8.2, the OAH appeal shall be filed within 10 business days after the date the person appealing the decision of the code official had notice or knowledge of the decision, or should have had notice or knowledge of the decision, whichever is earlier. The appeal shall specify that the Property Maintenance Code or the rules legally adopted thereunder have been incorrectly interpreted or applied by the code official, the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code do not fully apply, or the requirements of the Property Maintenance Code are adequately satisfied by other means. OAH shall have no authority to waive requirements of the Property Maintenance Code.

Exceptions:
  1. OAH review of a notice or order to close or vacate residential premises issued pursuant to Section 108 shall be based solely on the issue of whether the premises are unsafe or unfit for occupancy requiring a building closure under the provisions of Section 108.
  2. OAH review of a notice or order to close or vacate residential premises issued pursuant to Section 109 shall be based solely on the issue of whether the code official’s building closure decision comported with Section 109.1.
  3. Where the owner waives the right to an administrative hearing pursuant to Section 302.4.2.1.

107.8.1 Stay of enforcement

STATE AMENDMENT
Appeals of notices or orders shall stay the enforcement of the notice or order until the appeal is heard by OAH.

Exceptions:
  1. Closure or imminent danger notices or orders issued pursuant to Section 109, and related orders to vacate premises; or
  2. Closure notices or orders issued pursuant to Section 108, and related orders to vacate premises, except where the tenant or occupant has requested an expedited OAH hearing in accordance with Section 107.8.2.
Where a notice or order to close or vacate a residential premises is issued pursuant to Section 108, a tenant or occupant of the premises affected by the closure has a right to request an expedited hearing by OAH prior to the closure subject to the following requirements:
  1. The tenant or occupant shall file the request for an expedited hearing with OAH no later than the date specified in the closure order for tenants or occupants to vacate the structure or unit;
  2. OAH review shall be based solely on the issue of whether the premises are unsafe or unfit for occupancy requiring a building closure under the provisions of Section 108 of the Property Maintenance Code;
  3. Enforcement of the closure notice or order shall be stayed until OAH issues a written decision; and
  4. OAH shall hold a hearing within 72 hours of receipt of a timely request, and shall issue a decision within 72 hours after the hearing. For purposes of computing the 72-hour period, weekends and legal holidays shall be excluded.
     Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize an expedited hearing for any notices or orders issued, or actions taken, pursuant to Section 109.
Appeal of a closure notice or order issued pursuant to Section 108, or a request for an expedited hearing pursuant to 107.8.2, shall not preclude the code official from issuing a notice or order pursuant to Section 109 for the same premises or structure, while such appeal or hearing is pending.

108.1 General

STATE AMENDMENT
When structures, premises or equipment, in whole or in part, are found by the code official to be unsafe or dangerous, or when a structure is found unfit for human occupancy, or is found to be unlawful, such structure may be closed by the code official pursuant to the provisions of the Property Maintenance Code and may be referred to the Board of Condemnation for issuance of a condemnation order, pursuant to An Act To create a board for the condemnation of insanitary buildings in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes, as amended, approved May 1, 1906 (34 Stat. 157; D.C. Official Code § 6-901 et seq. [2012 Repl. & 2013 Supp.)].

108.1.1 Unsafe structures

STATE AMENDMENT
An unsafe structure or anything attached to or connected with any building or other structure that is found to be unsafe or dangerous to the life, health, property or safety of the public or the occupants of the structure by not providing minimum safeguards to protect or warn occupants in the event of fire, or because such structure contains unsafe equipment, or is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe, or of such faulty construction or unstable foundation that partial or complete collapse is possible.

108.1.2 Unsafe equipment

STATE AMENDMENT
Unsafe equipment includes any boiler, heating equipment, elevator, moving stairway, electrical wiring or device, flammable liquid containers or other equipment on the premises or within the structure which is in such disrepair or condition that such equipment is a hazard to life, health, property or safety of the public or occupants of the premises or structure.
A structure is unfit for human occupancy whenever the code official finds that such structure is: unsafe; unlawful; or, due to the degree to which the structure is in disrepair or lacks maintenance, is unsanitary or vermin or rat infested, contains filth and contamination, or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities or other essential equipment required by the Property Maintenance Code; or whenever the code official finds that the location of the structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants of the structure or to the public.

108.1.4 Unlawful structure

STATE AMENDMENT
An unlawful structure is one found in whole or in part to be occupied by more persons than permitted under the Property Maintenance Code, or was erected, altered or occupied contrary to law.
For the purpose of this code, any structure or premises that has any or all of the conditions or defects described below shall be considered dangerous:
  1. Any door, aisle, passageway, stairway, exit or other means of egress that does not conform to the Construction Codes as related to the requirements for existing buildings.
  2. The walking surface of any aisle, passageway, stairway, exit or other means of egress is so warped, worn loose, torn or otherwise unsafe as to not provide safe and adequate means of egress.
  3. Any portion of a building, structure or appurtenance that has been damaged by fire, earthquake, wind, flood, deterioration, neglect, abandonment, vandalism or any other cause to such an extent that it is likely to partially or completely collapse, or to become detached or dislodged.
  4. Any portion of a building, or any member, appurtenance or ornamentation on the exterior thereof, that is not of sufficient strength or stability, or is not so anchored, attached or fastened in place so as to be capable of resisting natural or artificial loads of one and one-half the original designed value.
  5. The building or structure, or part of the building or structure, is likely to collapse partially or completely, because of dilapidation, deterioration, decay, faulty construction, the removal or movement of some portion of the ground necessary for the support, or for any other reason, or some portion of the foundation or underpinning of the building or structure is likely to fail or give way.
  6. The building or structure, or any portion thereof, is clearly unsafe for its use and occupancy.
  7. The building or structure is neglected, damaged, dilapidated, unsecured or abandoned so as to become an attractive nuisance to children who might play in the building or structure to their danger, become a harbor for vagrants, criminals or immoral persons, or enable persons to resort to the building or structure for committing a nuisance or an unlawful act.
  8. The building or structure has been constructed, exists or is maintained in violation of any specific requirement or prohibition applicable to such building or structure provided by the Construction Codes, or of any law or ordinance to such an extent as to present either a substantial risk of fire, building collapse or any other threat to life and safety.
  9. A building or structure, used or intended to be used for dwelling purposes, that is determined by the code official to be unsanitary, unfit for human habitation, or in such a condition that is likely to cause sickness or disease because of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, decay, damage, faulty construction or arrangement, inadequate light, ventilation, mechanical or plumbing system or otherwise.
  10. Any building or structure that is determined by the code official to be a threat to life or health because of a lack of sufficient or proper fire-resistancerated construction, fire protection systems, electrical system, fuel connections, mechanical system, plumbing system or other cause.
  11. Any portion of a building or structure that remains on a site after the demolition or destruction of the building or structure, or whenever any building or structure or portion thereof is abandoned so as to become an attractive nuisance or hazard to the public.
Whenever the code official determines that the repair record on any boiler, air-conditioning system, heating equipment, elevator, moving stairway or other equipment on the premises or within a structure reflects the need for replacement of the equipment, the code official may declare the equipment “unserviceable” and order the replacement of the equipment.
If the structure is vacant and unfit for human habitation and occupancy, and is not in danger of structural collapse, the code official, after providing notice as prescribed in Section 108.3, is authorized to post a closure placard on the premises and order the structure closed up so as not to be an attractive nuisance. Upon failure of the owner to close up the premises within the time specified in the order, the code official shall cause the premises to be closed and secured through any available public agency or by contract or arrangement with private persons, and the cost thereof shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon such real estate and may be collected by any other legal resource.
The provisions of Section 111.3, Authority to Disconnect Service Utilities, of 12 DCMR A shall apply to the Property Maintenance Code and are hereby incorporated by reference.

108.3 Notice

STATE AMENDMENT
Whenever the code official has found a premises or structure to be unsafe or unfit for occupancy or has found the use of equipment to be unsafe or unlawful under the provisions of Section 108, notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place in or about the premises or structure affected by such notice and shall be served on the owner or the person or persons responsible for the premises, structure or equipment in accordance with Section 107.3 and An Act To authorize the Commissioners of the District of Columbia to remove dangerous or unsafe buildings and parts thereof, and for other purposes, as amended, approved March 1, 1899 [30 Stat. 923; D.C. Official Code § 6-801 et seq. (2012 Repl.)]. If the notice pertains to equipment, it shall also be placed on the equipment found to be unsafe or unlawful. The notice shall be in the form prescribed in Section 107.2. The code official is authorized to order the owner to close and barricade the structure or dwelling unit within a specified period of time.
The code official shall provide tenants of residential premises with copies of notices and orders issued pursuant to Section 108 in accordance with Section 107.7. The code official shall not be subject to any other tenant notification provisions, except as expressly set forth in Section 107.7.

108.3.1.2 Building closures

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to order tenants or occupants of residential premises to vacate the premises within a time sufficient to allow the owner to comply with the order to close and barricade the premises, provided that tenants shall be given at least five calendar days to vacate the premises. If any tenant or occupant fails to vacate the premises within the time period set forth in the notice or order, subject to the appeal provisions of Section 107.8, the code official is authorized to order the removal of the tenants or occupants.
The removal of tenants from unsafe residential premises, or the service of an order to vacate pursuant to Section 108, shall not be considered an eviction or notice to vacate under D.C. Official Code § 42-3505.01 (2012 Repl.). Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing herein shall be construed to nullify or abrogate any other rights to which a tenant is entitled under District laws or regulations, including relocation assistance, the right to reoccupy the rental unit following rehabilitation, or the right to pursue rights and remedies under D.C. Official Code Title 42, Chapter 34 (2012 Repl. & 2013 Supp.).
Repairs to, or removal or demolition of, a historic landmark or building or structure located within an historic district shall comply with D.C. Official Code § 6-801 et seq. (2012 Repl.).

108.4 Placarding

STATE AMENDMENT
Upon failure of the owner or person responsible to comply with the notice provisions within the time given, the code official is authorized to post on the premises a closure placard bearing the words “These Premises are Unsafe and Its Occupancy Has Been Prohibited by the Code Official,” or to post on the defective equipment a placard bearing the words “Removed from Service.” The placard shall include a statement of the penalties provided for occupying the premises or operating the equipment, and for removing the placard.

108.4.1 Removal of placard

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official shall authorize removal of the applicable placards whenever the defect or defects upon which the closure or removal from service actions were based have been eliminated. Any person who defaces or removes a placard without the approval of the code official shall be subject to the penalties provided by the Property Maintenance Code.

108.5 Prohibited occupancy

STATE AMENDMENT
Any occupied structure, closed and placarded by the code official, shall be vacated as ordered by the code official. Any person who shall occupy a placarded premises or shall operate placarded equipment, and any owner or any person responsible for the premises who shall let anyone occupy a placarded premises or operate placarded equipment, shall be liable for the penalties provided by the Property Maintenance Code.

108.6 Abatement methods

STATE AMENDMENT
The owner, operator or occupant of a structure, premises or equipment deemed unsafe by the code official shall abate or cause to be abated or corrected such unsafe conditions either by repair, rehabilitation, demolition or other approved corrective action.

108.6.1 Costs of abatement

STATE AMENDMENT
Where the owner, operator or occupant of a premises, including any buildings, other structures, or equipment, deemed unsafe by the code official fails to abate such unsafe condition following notice as prescribed in Section 107, the code official may cause such condition to be corrected and assess the costs of any corrective action, and all expenses incident thereto, as a tax against the property in accordance with Section 106.5. Nothing herein shall be deemed to preclude or negate any other penalties or remedies set forth in Section 106.4, or to preclude conversion of a special assessment lien to an administrative judgment, enforceable in the same manner as any other civil judgment under District of Columbia law, as authorized by D.C. Official Code § 42-3131.01 (2012 Repl.).

108.7 Record

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official shall maintain a report on an unsafe condition. The report shall state the occupancy of the structure and the nature of the unsafe condition.

108.8 Condemnation

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to refer a building or structure determined to be unsafe under Section 108 to the Board for the Condemnation of Insanitary Buildings for issuance of an order of condemnation, pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 6-903 (2012 Repl.).

109.1 Imminent danger

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is hereby authorized and empowered to order and require the tenants or occupants to vacate a premises forthwith when, in the opinion of the code official: there is imminent danger of failure or collapse of a building or other structure which endangers life; or when any structure or part of a structure has fallen and life is endangered by the occupation of the structure; or when there is actual or potential danger to the building occupants or those in the proximity of any structure because of explosives, explosive fumes or vapors, or the presence of toxic fumes, gases or materials; or when the health or safety of occupants of the premises or those in the proximity of the premises is immediately endangered by an unsanitary condition or the operation of defective or dangerous equipment. The code official shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such structure a notice or order reading as follows: “This Structure Is Unsafe and Its Occupancy Has Been Prohibited by the [code official].” It shall be unlawful for any person to enter such structure except for the purpose of securing the structure, making the required repairs, removing the hazardous condition, or demolishing the same.
The code official shall provide tenants of residential premises with copies of notices and orders issued pursuant to Section 109 in accordance with Section 107.7. The code official shall not be subject to any other tenant notification provisions, except as expressly set forth in Section 107.7.

109.1.1.2 Building closures

STATE AMENDMENT
Where the code official posts a closure or imminently dangerous notice or order pursuant to Section 109.1, the code official is authorized to order all tenants or occupants to vacate the imminently dangerous structure or dwelling unit. The notice or order shall include the time by which the premises must be vacated, provided that tenants and occupants shall be given at least 24 hours to vacate, unless the code official determines that tenants and occupants must leave the premises immediately for their personal safety. If any tenant or occupant fails to vacate the structure or unit within the time specified in the notice or order, the code official is authorized to order removal of the tenant or occupant from the structure or unit.
The removal of tenants from imminently dangerous premises, or the service of an order to vacate, pursuant to Section 109 shall not be considered an eviction or notice to vacate under D.C. Official Code § 42-3505.01 (2012 Repl.). Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing herein shall be construed to nullify or abrogate any other rights to which a tenant is entitled under District laws or regulations, including relocation assistance, the right to reoccupy the rental unit following rehabilitation, or the right to pursue rights and remedies under D.C. Official Code Title 42, Chapter 34 (2012 Repl. & 2013 Supp.).

109.1.2 Appeals

STATE AMENDMENT
Imminent danger notices and orders, and other notices and orders issued pursuant to Section 109, are appealable to OAH pursuant to Section 107.8, but any appeal shall not stay the enforcement of the notice or order. Any person ordered to take emergency measures or actions shall comply with such order forthwith. The expedited hearing procedures set forth in Section 107.8.2 shall not apply to orders and notices issued pursuant to Section 109.
Emergency measures affecting a historic landmark or a building or structure located within an historic district shall comply with D.C. Code § 6-803(b) (2012 Repl.).

109.2 Temporary safeguards

STATE AMENDMENT
Whenever, in the opinion of the code official, there is imminent danger due to an unsafe condition, the code official shall order the necessary work to be done, including the boarding up of openings, to render such structure temporarily safe whether or not the legal procedure herein described has been instituted; and shall further cause such other action to be taken as the code official deems necessary to meet such emergency.

109.3 Closing streets

STATE AMENDMENT
When necessary for the public safety, the code official is authorized to temporarily close sidewalks, streets, buildings, other structures, and places adjacent to such unsafe structure, and prohibit them from being used.

109.4 Emergency repairs

STATE AMENDMENT
For the purposes of this section, the code official shall employ the necessary labor and materials to perform the required work as expeditiously as possible.
Where the code official causes emergency work to be done pursuant to Section 109.2 or Section 109.4, the costs incurred in the performance of emergency work and expenses incident thereto shall be paid from appropriations of the District of Columbia on certification of the code official and shall be assessed as a tax against the property on which the emergency work or repairs were performed in accordance with Section 106.5. Nothing herein shall be deemed to preclude conversion of a special assessment lien to an administrative judgment, enforceable in the same manner as any other civil judgment under District of Columbia law, as authorized by D.C. Official Code § 42- 3131.01 (2012 Repl.).
Costs of emergency repairs shall also be deemed to include, but are not limited to, costs associated with cleaning the premises to comply with the Property Maintenance Code, utility removal or disconnection costs, court costs, fines, and penalties. If the code official determines that no other shelter is available to tenants or occupants removed from residential premises pursuant to Section 109.1, the code official has discretion to assess all expenses incident to tenant relocation as a cost of emergency repairs, including, but not limited to, temporary housing, security deposits and the first month’s rent if required.

109.6 Condemnation

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to refer a building or structure determined to be imminently dangerous under Section 109 to the Board of Condemnation of Insanitary Buildings for issuance of an order of condemnation pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 6-903 (2012 Repl.).

Section 110 DEMOLITION

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to initiate proceedings pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 42-3173 (2012 Repl.) to demolish or enclose a “deteriorated structure,” as defined in D.C. Official Code § 42-3173.01 (2012 Repl.).
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