33 Comment

  • binpetworth

    Ooh, I need to report the (half of a duplex) house at the corner of 13th and Otis that is being redeveloped into condos. Damn grass is so high the rats are building their own condos in that lawn.

  • Big props to DCRA. These vacant, blighted properties are not only neighborhood eye sores, but also serve as hidden locations for prostitutes (especially in Petworth!) and people doing drugs.

    • Yes! I lived next to a vacant rowhouse for a year (before it was bought and flipped) and squatters had been inside doing drugs and using the basement as a toilet. They were also lighting fires to stay warm which could have brought the entire block down.

  • Thank you. This is a notice to you Church on Taylor and Georgia that refuses to cut your grass on the side of your building. If you are going to ruin parking on the street every Sunday the least you could do is not make it look crappy the rest of the week.

    • Report them. As far as I can tell, DCRA doesn’t do any kind of proactive enforcement — you have to specifically report things to them.

    • What’s the address? We can take a look at the property and cite them if they are indeed in violation/ abate the overgrown vegetation. Please let us know.

  • I think that house is on Randolph between 13th & Kansas. It’s a mess. There’s another one between 13th & 14th on Randolph that is home to quite a menagerie of wildlife, if not worse.

  • It says “Work Performed by DCRA Enforcement Team” – what did they actually do? Did they go in there and clean up the property or did they just impose the vacant property tax rate and/or issued fines to the owner?

    • When they say work has been performed, typically they’ve cut back weeds/growth and fined the property owner. There is a whole notification process they have to go through before the work performed step, though.

  • Can anyone tell me what the address of this property is? I’d like to check the tax records. Too often properties such as this one are not being taxed at the appropriate tax rates, which are 5 percent for vacant properties and 10 percent for vacant and blighted properties.

    • I have a few properties I’d like to check up on, tax-wise. Can you share the process for doing so?

      • It is actually a pretty easy process. Go here: http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/page/real-property-tax-database-search. Click on “Search Real Property Assessment Database.” Enter the address of the property. Click on the link under the title, “Square/Suffix/Lot” (the link will be embedded in the property identification number). At the bottom of the next page, you’ll see four buttons: View Tax Information | View Payments | View Current Tax Bill | View Tax Notices. I find the most useful of these buttons to be “View Current Tax Bill”.

        Have fun!

      • Google “dc property assessment” or similar search term, and go to the Real Property Assessment Database. Enter the address of the property you’re interested in. The record will show the “tax class” of the property and whether it’s receiving the homestead deduction, etc. You can also click through the record to find out how much (and if) they’ve paid in property taxes over the past several years. If there is a discrepancy, report it to DCRA Vacant Building Enforcement. In my experience, it takes close to a year to get a property on the vacant and/or blighted list, even with regular following up.

    • Wow….when did that come into effect? Didn’t it used to be 4% for both vacant and vacant blighted properties?
      Gives a huge incentive for people to sell or renovate the property. However, if someone can’t afford to renovate a blighted property then they may not be able pay such a high tax rate. I assume DC prohibits the sale of property when there are delinquent taxes owed on the property. Therefore, could such a high tax rate be counterproductive to the intention of stimulating renovation and occupancy? I.e. the owner can’t afford to do the place up and the property gets saddled with so much debt that no developer/flipper/someone looking to make their dream home/etc would be willing purchase it?

      • I think the standard for “blighted” must be set in such a way that even buildings that are having a negative effect on the area somehow don’t qualify. There are vacant properties that _I_ would classify as “blighted” (like the Labamba Sub building) that have somehow escaped the “blighted” designation for tax-rate purposes (as far as I’m aware).

        • There are lots of loopholes that allow property owners to get out of having to pay the higher tax rates. For example, have an active construction permit, even for very minor work, gets the owner out of having to pay. The property owner can use this loophole for up to three years, even if there is no construction work done during that period. Also, properties revert back to the non-vacant tax rate with every new fiscal year, meaning DCRA needs to reinspect it and reclassify it. Too often, properties just don’t get reinspected. The systems is broken.

      • Accountering

        There is no prohabition, it is just outstanding taxes on the property. The title company will withhold these from the payment to the seller, as DC won’t transfer the property with outstanding taxes. DC gets its money on these properties when sold.

    • i believe it’s 1221 randolph st nw.

  • Bravo to DCRA. A bummer, no doubt, for all the absentee owners who let the rest of us increase the value of their properties, while they do nothing or less than nothing. Vacant and blighted tax rates: bring ’em on!

  • That email address on the sign doesn’t work. I’ve tried sending an email to it from two different addresses and my email has bounced back both times. Why am I not remotely surprised?

  • I just called and reported the Exxon Mobile gas station at 14th and Otis Pl NW. Otis Pl is lined with trash starting at Exxon to 14th then back around Parkwood. They said they can get to it next week – will site the owner and if owner does not respond within a week DCRA will send crews to pick it up.

    Has anyone else called yet??

    • What will they cite the gas station owner FOR?? For selling things in packages that buyers then drop on the ground? I hate litter as much as the next person, but blaming the seller for the final resting place of the product is not a precedent you want to set.

      • D.C. regulations state that businesses and homeowners are responsible for keeping the public space adjacent to their properties (sidewalks, treebox areas, etc.) clean.
        The gas station can’t be cited for trash in front of other properties… but it can certainly be cited for trash in front of (or on) its own property.

  • DCRA will inspect and classify vacant buildings, as well as cite for and abate (if necessary) violations, such as: trash, grass, and/or boarded-up buildings that are open and accessible. However, in order to do this, we will need the exact physical address of the property. For more information, please call our Vacant Building Enforcement Team at 202.442.4332.

    Thank you.

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