PRESS RELEASE from Office of District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty

November 20, 2008

Mayor Fenty Issues Order to Suspend Business License for Short-Term Residential Rentals during 2009 Presidential Inauguration period

Today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty issued an Executive Order, temporarily suspending the enforcement of the District’s regulations that require residents to have a basic business license for short-term rentals of residential property on and around Inauguration Day.

The rental of residential units normally requires a Basic Business License and, in addition, may require a Certificate of Occupancy.  

According to Mayor Fenty, “We think it is important to provide visitors, who may not have access to a hotel in the area, a chance to witness this historic event.”

“We issued this Order in response to the expected unprecedented demand for accommodations here in the District,” said Attorney General Peter Nickles.
The Order will only apply to properties being used for residential purposes to lodge individuals during the Inauguration period. District residents will be permitted to rent their units beginning on or after January 13, 2009, and ending on or before January 27, 2009.

During this period the District will not enforce licensing and certificate of occupancy requirements with respect to leases and rentals that fall entirely within the provided timeframe. However, residents will be required to comply with any tax obligations that arise from leasing activity.

DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Director Linda K. Argo said she urges residents and visitors to take caution.

“The reason rental licensing laws exist in the first place is to ensure housing is safe and clean,” Argo said. “We encourage anyone coming to the District to do as much as they can to check out their accommodations before they arrive. We also encourage residents to be just as careful if they choose to take advantage of this opportunity to rent out their home.”