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lease contactsRenters are accustomed to agreeing to a background check from prospective landlords, but it’s pretty rare for the reverse to happen. Before renting, some consumers read reviews about various buildings online and search for complaints. Now renters in D.C. can access information directly from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

The Landlord Violations Tool can be researched by a landlord’s name or a property address to look for violations. The tool can be accessed under the Inspections and Compliance tab on the DCRA’s dashboard.

“With this new, free resource, we’re arming District renters with critical information about landlords before they ever sign a lease,” said DCRA Director Ernest Chrappah in a statement. “If a landlord has several unaddressed housing violations, you may want to think twice about moving in there.”

The database includes nearly 40,000 violations found through DCRA inspections during the past three years.

Among the violations currently listed on the database are:

· Failure to secure a lock.

· Failure to maintain the interior of a unit.

· Failure to repair peeling or flaking paint.

· Failure to fix doors so that they can open.

· Failure to fix cracks and holes in the walls.

· Failure to make sure all windows can open.

· Failure to maintain and repair appliances.

· Failure to provide extermination services.

DCRA advises tenants who want to report a possible housing violation to first make a complaint directly to their property manager. If the issue is not addressed or resolved within 10 days, tenants should report the problem to DCRA and request an inspection by calling 202-442-9557 or sending an email to [email protected] The process for reporting suspected housing violations can be found by clicking here:

Tenants can also find more information about tenant resources at the Office of the Tenant Advocate (OTA) ota.dc.gov or by calling 202-719-6560.

Source: washingtonpost.com

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