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“Advice and licensing for renting out basement apartment?”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Tim Brown

“Dear PoPville,

We recently purchased a home with a basement unit which are hoping to rent out as a furnished unit — the entire house was recently renovated but there is no separate cert of occupancy for the basement alone and all permits were for a one unit construction. The basement has one entrance (through the back yard, and access to the main house we can close off). The house is currently zoned RF-1 where 2 dwelling units may be located within the principal structure. I have been looking into the required licensing with DCRA and of course am completely confused as to what is actually necessary and applies to our property.

I know this is a topic regularly discussed on the site but I’m hoping that the community would have some more recent advice, including where do we even start? And any other helpful tips from other basement apartment landlords’ experiences (aside from the generic “don’t do it”) would also be very helpful!”

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