If you’re a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, use a Washington, DC eviction notice to begin the process. Your eviction notice must be written according to District of Columbia law, and give your tenant the legally required amount of time to respond or move out. In DC, the landlord must have one of ten specific statutory reasons in order to successfully evict.
In Washington, DC, eviction lawsuits are governed by Title 16, Chapter 15 of the Code of the District of Columbia.
Eviction notices in Washington, DC are also known as:
- Washington DC Notice to Quit
- Washington DC Notice to Vacate
- Washington DC Notice to Terminate Lease
Washington, DC Eviction Notices by Type
Download a free eviction notice customized for Washington, DC law below in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
30-Day Lease Termination: Use this notice to let a tenant know that you’re ending a month-to-month lease, and that they must prepare to leave your property. In Washington, DC, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice to move out if they’re on a month-to-month lease.
30-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of your lease. In Washington, DC, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice before the eviction process can proceed in court. In that time, tenants may have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem. However, in some cases, tenants don’t have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem, and must move out or risk being forcibly evicted by a court order.
30-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they haven’t paid rent on time. In Washington, DC, landlords must give tenants 30 days to pay rent before the eviction process can proceed in court. If rent is paid in full within that time, the lease will not be terminated.
If you wish to send a letter simply reminding your tenant that rent is late (without threat of eviction), use a late rent notice.
Eviction Laws & Requirements
- Eviction Lawsuit: DC Courts Landlord & Tenant Resource Center
- Grace Period for Rent Payment: 5 days (§ 42-3501.01)
- Late or Non-Rent Payment Notice: 30 days (§ 42-3505.01)
- Notice of Non-Compliance: 30 days (§ 42-3505.01 (b)(c))
- Lease Termination (Month-Month): 30 days (§ 42-3202)
What is the Eviction Process in Washington, DC?
Step 1: Give tenant written notice
The landlord must give written notice before continuing with the eviction process.
Depending on the reason for eviction, the tenant must be given time to correct the issue before proceeding with the eviction.
Step 2: Landlord files complaint
If the tenant doesn’t fix the problem, the landlord may try to agree upon a lease termination with the tenant before going to court. If this doesn’t work, landlords can file a complaint with the Superior Court of Washington, DC, which costs $15.
The tenant will be legally served by an uninvested third party at least 7 days before the hearing is scheduled. In drug-related evictions, the tenant only needs to be served 5 days before the hearing.
Step 3: Hearing and Writ of Restitution
The hearing will be set for at least 21 days after the complaint was filed with the courts.
If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a Writ of Restitution will be issued to the tenant, which gives them the opportunity to leave the property before a US Marshal comes to escort them from the unit. A tenant has 3 days once the writ is served before the US Marshal arrives.
Related Washington, DC Court Forms
Below are a few of the most common eviction court forms in Washington, DC. You can find more landlord/tenant forms at the DC Courts official website.
Complaint For Non-Payment of Rent: Use this form to file a non-payment complaint against a tenant.
Protective Order Information Sheet: Use this form to apply for a protective order against a tenant or landlord.
Writ of Restitution: This will be used once the court rules on the side of the landlord to evict the tenant.
Eviction Information for Washington DC Landlords and Tenants
The Washington, DC Office of the Tenant Advocate has provided a list of helpful links for housing and tenant issues. A landlord must use the proper eviction notice form in order to complete the eviction process in Washington DC. There are 10 different reasons for eviction — the landlord must have a valid reason or they’re not legally allowed to evict their tenant.
Tenants should know their rights during an eviction. In Washington, DC there’s an Office of the Tenant Advocate that was created specifically to help tenants. The Washington, DC Tenant Survival Guide is also a wonderful resource.
Lastly, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has put together Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections: District of Columbia, which can help tenants learn about the eviction process and even help find legal assistance.