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“Dear PoPville,

Just wanted to write in and let you know DCRA is flexing its incompetent muscles again and inexplicably classified a chunk of occupied homes in DC as vacant properties. They then didn’t notify the homeowners and then let us all find out through OTR with our second half 2022 property tax payments. A lot of people opened the mail on 8/8 to $20,000+ half year property tax bills on homes that typically have $2-4k half year bills.

When we contacted DCRA , the person said “yeah, we’ve been getting a lot of calls about this today.” Read More

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From DCRA:

“The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) announces that it is extending the application grace period for Short-Term Rental Licenses to June 9, 2022.

In support of the Short-Term Rental Regulation Act of 2018, DCRA began accepting applications for Short-Term Rental Licenses on January 10, 2022. To give short-term rental hosts enough time to get the required documentation and obtain licenses, a 90-day grace period was implemented.

To assist hosts who have not yet obtained their licenses, and to allow them confirm eligibility for the Homestead Deduction or obtain a Certificate of Clean Hands from the DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR), DCRA will extend the grace period for an additional 60 days until June 9, 2022.

Things to Know About Short-Term Rental Licensure

Two license types available to those wishing to conduct short-term rentals in the District: Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

We are adding a small addition (one room) to a single-family home. We obtained the permits for everything and have been instructed that we need a “Wall Check” to proceed. According to DCRA, “A wall check is performed to confirm that the location of the foundation walls, in relation to the property lines, are consistent with the issued building permit’s approved plat and plans.”

Our addition is nowhere near the property line, but I understand the reasoning for wanting to ensure that your new structure does not encroach on a neighbor’s property. I learned that DCRA used to perform this minimal task as part of the inspection process since there is already a DCRA permit plat generated. However, this “Wall Check” is now being outsourced to a select list of “approved DC land surveyors.”

Usually, that wouldn’t be a big deal if it was a set rate (say $500.00), but it is currently a free-for-all. Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

I purchased my home in Oct. 2021 (in Petworth!) and in the course of trying to get solar panels installed on the house, Solar Solutions informed us that there is a Stop Work Order on the house from 2017. Obviously, I did not own the home back then. I reached out to the previous owner and they say they never received notice from DCRA of any Stop Work Orders. I’ve reached out to DCRA repeatedly and they say we are liable even though it was issued under the previous owner’s name. Read More

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From DCRA:

“The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) announced it will be accepting applications for residents to license short-term rentals–for 30 or fewer continuous nights–in the District beginning January 10, 2022. To give short-term rental hosts enough time to get their required licenses, there will be a 90-day enforcement grace period.

The new requirements are in adherence to the Short-Term Rental Regulation Act of 2018 and corresponding regulations that were finalized earlier this month.

“As this is a new requirement in the District, we want to give people a reasonable amount of time to get their licenses before enforcement begins,” said DCRA Director Ernest Chrappah. “Over the last several months we’ve worked with short-term rental hosts to gain feedback on our online license application process. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for District residents looking to earn extra income by renting out their homes.”

Two license types are available to those wishing to conduct short-term rentals in the District: Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

I’m no structural engineer, but either DCRA is totally incompetent, or somebody was slipped a few C-notes to look the other way (I acknowledge it could be a combination of both). DCRA has approved this structure, which is the primary support for the entire front porch and front of the renovated house. They obviously poured the footers wrong, so the contractor simply set the post down with over 50% resting on nothing but air and has no intention of fixing it. They somehow passed the inspection and are in the process of closing it up. Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

I just got a letter in the mail from DCRA notifying me that the house next door will be converted into a popup. This will block the sun from hitting my solar panels for at least half the day. Is the new building owner responsible at all for raising my panels? Or will I just expect to lose half my power generation?

Also, should I be concerned at all about their intention to excavate a basement and underpin our shared wall?” Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

I’m trying to bring my basement condo up to code to pass DCRA inspection for renting it out. The DCRA checklist says “Do all sleeping rooms have adequate emergency escape and rescue openings? (IPMC §702.4)” I currently have fixed bars on both bedroom windows and understand I need to upgrade one of them in order to have an emergency egress. Read More

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