A well-prepared and legally compliant Washington DC eviction notice is the first step to a successful eviction. Create your own printable notice form for free today with step-by-step help and personalized templates.
Last Update July 5th, 2022
- Eviction Notice Types in Washington DC
- Washington DC Eviction Laws
- Washington DC Eviction Process
- Eviction Notice Sample
- FAQs About Washington DC Eviction Notices
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Eviction Notice Types in Washington DC
To evict a tenant successfully in Washington DC you must present them with the appropriate eviction notice for the circumstances. This allows you to conform with the laws in Washington DC by providing a legally valid reason for the eviction and the correct amount of notice necessary under DC statutes.
Choosing the right kind of eviction notice is key to removing a tenant quickly. If you don’t follow the legally mandated rules, you may have the eviction overturned or delayed by the local courts.
As seen below, there are a few different options in Washington DC when completing an eviction.
30-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Payment)
If a tenant does not pay within the 5-day legal grace period (§ 42-3501.01) after the rent’s due date, the landlord may present them with a DC30-Day Notice to Quit. This obliges them to pay rent or quit within 1 month.
If the tenant complies and pays the rent, then the notice will be nullified. If they refuse to pay or vacate the property, the landlord will be able to pursue the matter further through the courts
30-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Compliance)
If a tenant fails to comply with the terms of the lease, aside from not paying rent, landlords may issue them with a30-Day Notice to Quit (§ 42-3505.01 (b)(c)). This gives thema month to correct the issue or leave the property.
Assuming the tenant corrects the violation, the notice will be rendered invalid. A new eviction warning will need to be issued if other breaches of the contract occur.
However, it’s also possible to issue an unconditional 30-Day Notice that doesn’t give the tenant a chance to correct the violation. This only normally happens when more severe transgressions take place.
30-Day Notice to Quit (Month-to-Month)
Landlords with tenants on flexible monthly rental agreements may end the tenancy without cause, as long as they provide a 30-Day Eviction letter (§ 42-3202).
If this is used, the tenant must leave the property within 30 days of this notice being delivered.
Be aware, however, if you continue to accept rental payments during this period, the notice will be considered null and void. This also does not include any payments of owed back rent.
Washington DC Eviction Laws
You can only evict someone in Washington DC if they’ve committed a legally valid breach of the lease under DC statutes. Not only that, but you must also make sure to provide the correct amount of days’ notice to avoid the eviction from being challenged in court.
To evict someone in Washington DC means conforming with the following legal requirements:
Non-payment of rent:30 days’ notice (§ 42-3505.01)
Lease violation:30 days’ notice (§ 42-3505.01 (b)(c))
Lease termination:30 days’ notice (§ 42-3202)
The notice must also be served to the tenant in compliance with the property laws in Washington DC. It should be presented to them as a written notice or letter, detailing the information on why and when the lease is ending.
Washington DC Eviction Process
Evicting a tenant in Washington DC follows a strict legal process. When issuing an eviction notice, you must make sure that you correctly:
Detail the reason the lease is being terminated.
Provide sufficient time for the tenant to respond.
Serve the notice in a legally appropriate manner.
In most cases, that is enough to make a tenant vacate on their own. However, as an eviction is a lawsuit procedure, it may be necessary to take additional steps if the resident refuses to leave.
To complete an eviction process in Washington DC, you will need to:
Serve an eviction notice with the correct notice period and a legal reason to evict.
File for eviction in your local DC Superior Court if the tenant doesn’t obey the notice.
Attend the court hearing in person to make your case to the judge.
Request a Writ of Restitution from the clerk of the court if the judge rules in your favor.
Deliver the Writ to local law enforcement, so they may carry out a forced eviction. The tenant will have 3 days to comply with the Writ of Restitution before being removed from the property.
Eviction Notice Sample
When you prepare your own Washington DC eviction notice, it can be hard to have a clear idea of what the final document will look like. If you need a little extra guidance on how your legal document will appear, simply review our eviction notice sample below.
FAQs About Washington DC Eviction Notices
Before starting your eviction notice for real, it is sensible to understand the ins and outs of these important legal documents. Read more about Washington DC’s eviction notices in our FAQs below and learn how to use these forms effectively.
How to Evict Someone in Washington DC?
To successfully evict a tenant in Washington DC state, the landlord or property manager must serve a legally valid eviction notice. This must provide the correct number of days to comply and a legitimate reason to evict. It can be served in person, to a family member, someone else living on the premises, or left in a conspicuous location and mailed.
If the tenant doesn’t comply and vacate the property as instructed, the landlord will then have to petition a court. If the judge rules in their favor, they will then be able to use a local marshal or sheriff to forcibly evict the tenant.
How Long Does It Take to Evict a Tenant in Washington DC?
In many cases, a Washington DC eviction can be completed in a few weeks. Once the eviction notice is served, the tenant will have 30 days to vacate. If they comply, then the process will be over as soon as the notice period ends.
However, serving the eviction notice incorrectly can lead to delays in the process. Also, if the tenant refuses to vacate, eviction procedures can take somewhat longer. To go through the court process can take up to 4 months, depending on how busy the district or housing court system is at the time.
How Much Does It Cost to Evict Someone?
How much evicting a tenant costs will often depend on how long the removal process lasts. If you serve the Washington DC eviction notice and that leads to a resolution of the dispute, or the tenant simply leaves as instructed, then the costs are very low (below $400 not including potentially lost rent).
However, if the tenant refuses to leave the property, this could lead to a more protracted and expensive legal case. If you need to seek legal advice or representation at any step of the process, this will of course carry much higher costs.