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Monday
Jun162014

Changes to DC Landlord & Tenant Rules & Procedures 

There have been a few changes to the DC Landlord & Tenant Court rules and procedures recently and a few more are coming. Here is your update:
1) There is a new format for the Notice to Tenant of Payment Required to Avoid Eviction (otherwise known as a Form 6 or a Redemption Form). Why? The fees landlords can charge tenants have changed. You must use the new form. Things are worded a little differently so read it carefully before you fill it out.  
2) You can no longer charge tenants the entire writ filing fee at the time the writ is filed. Landlords can charge $18 to the tenant when they file the writ and the remaining amount when and if the marshals actually come to the property. So if the tenant wants to redeem during the eviction, they must pay the entire writ fee. Before the eviction starts, just $18. The reasons is that if a tenant moved out or pays before a writ is executed the remaining amount can be refunded to the landlord. It can take time, I just received refunds from 2012 a few months ago, but if you make a formal request you can get the money more quickly. The old rules required landlords refund that money to the tenant. Now the tenant is only charged if the landlord actually incurs the fee. 
3) The Landlord & Tenant Clerk's Office has announced they will be starting to scan each item as it comes it and won't be maintaining paper copies of many filed documents, such as motions. They will give the original back to the filer. As always it's extremely important for the filer to keep a paper or scanned copy of all the documents so if the Clerk's database has any problems you can prove what you filed and when.  It also means the paper documents won't be available to for you to review on the day of court, the judge can see them on the computer. If you need copies you'll need to go to the Clerk's office before the court date and pay for copies. Another good reason to keep good records. 
None of these changes are substantive but as usual failing to follow each and every procedure could result in having your eviction delayed or even having your case dismissed. 

 

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