Rental Business License Services in Washington, DC
Stay compliant and protect your rental property investments.
Check It Off Your List: Columbia Property Management Can Get you Registered
Good news: If you hire us all you need to do is answer a few simple questions and provide us with a few original signatures.
If you are a landlord with a residential rental unit located in the District of Columbia you are required to have a business license and to register with the Rental Accommodations Division.
Luckily, our company provides this service for a fee so that you don’t have to spend your valuable time learning all of the ins and outs of this process.
By successfully procuring many of our clients’ business licenses we were able to learn what works best and make the process efficient.
Know Your Fees
The District of Columbia has an application fee for the business license that depends on the number of rental units at that address.
Single family, including condo units –$198.00
Two-family rental –$283.80
Three-unit apartment – $453.20
Four-unit apartment – $508.20
The fee you pay to Columbia Property Management depends on the number of rental units at that address.
$600 each for single family license
$800 for 2-unit
$1500 for 3-units
$1800 for 4-units.
NOTE: A valid Certificate of Occupancy is needed for 2 units or more per address. If none is on record, we will advise you of other third-party services who can help.
Preparing for Your License
To be able to submit an application for the business license the owner may not owe the District Government more than $100 or have any outstanding tax returns not filed or registered. This must be resolved before proceeding with the application process.
If you don’t presently have a Certificate of Occupancy you will need the document to be issued before applying for your business license (needed only for 2 units or more). Sometimes a Zoning inspection is required prior to issuing the Certificate of Occupancy, or C of O. Having a C of O issued in the last ten years re-issued with the current owners name won’t require a Zoning inspection and the city fee is approximately $85. Depending on the circumstances with the property, Columbia Property Management may be able to assist you with obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy, or we will refer you to a company who can.
Meeting Maintenance Standards
Your rental unit must be maintained. Repairs or improvements may be needed in the rental in order to pass the mandatory safety inspection on the first try. We strive to have properties comply before applying for the business license on your behalf to ensure it will pass. We base our standards on the years of experience we have and the most common pitfalls that cause an inspection to fail. Our pre-inspection is a “best effort” review. A sample of the items that are inspected are:
Hard-wired smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level (interconnected to the house electric).
Window or ventilation in kitchen and bathrooms
GFCI outlets in kitchen and bathrooms (outlets with the reset button)
Keyless locks on all exit doors and security gates
Emergency escape egress from all sleeping areas (door or window)
No peeling or chipping paint
No holes in walls, floors, or ceilings
Hot water heater, heating and central air conditioning are in good working order.
Recent hot water installations must include an expansion tank
Our company can help coordinate removing deficiencies such as these that risk causing your rental unit to fail the inspection. A formal proposal will be made and you can decide if you wish to move forward. We can also refer you to contractors and other companies for larger jobs.
Your rental unit must be structurally able to pass inspection. If it is not a legal two-family flat it will have to pass inspection as a single family dwelling. If you rent the basement separately, contact us. Each case is unique depending on the structure of the home and we will need additional information and possibly a site visit to determine if we can help you with the business license.
Let’s Get Your Rental Business Registered
We would be grateful to count you as a client for our DC Business License service. Complete the form below to provide some basic information about the rental you wish to have licensed. We will follow up via email or phone to ask a few additional questions about the property and to provide you with next steps.
Reputation Matters. So Does Reliability.
We believe in partnerships and we contribute to relationships. Our team is active in the communities we serve and the associations we work with to deliver better management.
You can count on us.
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Why Hire Us?
Whether you need help with staying compliant with Washington DC landlord-tenant laws, tenant screening, marketing rental property, rental property maintenance, or ongoing support with leasing and management of your investment property, Columbia Property Management is here to support you.
As experts in the housing and rental regulations in the District of Columbia , we proactively manage leasing and tenant relationships to ensure the best possible outcome for the landlord, despite the tenant friendly nature of the laws and courts in DC.
We conduct property inspections at least twice a year and in many cases three to four times annually. This helps to spot problems early such as when preventative maintenance is required or when lease violations are observed.
Our expert management systems and processes ensure a seamless investment experience. From advanced techniques in tenant screening to monthly CPA review of the accounting in your client trust account, we go the extra mile to protect you and increase the return on your rental investment.
In the end, it is about creating long term wealth for you and your family and we are proud to be partners with our clients to help them achieve their goals.