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Guide to Eviction

The landlord may evict a tenant for only one of ten specific statutory reasons:

  • Nonpayment of rent;
  • Violation of an obligation of tenancy, of which the tenant failed to correct after notice;
  • Tenant performed an illegal act within the rental unit;
  • Landlord seeks in good faith to occupy the rental unit for personal use and occupancy;
  • Landlord sells rental unit to a party who seeks in good faith to occupy the rental unit for personal use and occupancy;
  • Landlord seeks to renovate rental unit in a manner in which tenant cannot safely occupy;
  • Landlord seeks to demolish rental unit;
  • Landlord seeks to substantially rehabilitate rental unit;
  • Landlord seeks to discontinue rental unit for housing and occupancy; or
  • Landlord seeks to convert rental unit to a condominium or cooperative after securing governmental approval.

Judicial process is required for all evictions. Furthermore, in all cases other than non-payment of rent, a filing with the Rental Accommodations Division (RAD) is required.

A tenant may not be evicted just because the initial lease term expires, or because the rental property has been foreclosed upon.

In order to evict a tenant, the landlord must go through the judicial process.  The tenant must be given:

  • A written Notice to Vacate (except for non-payment of rent, if the tenant waived the right to notice in the lease);
  • An opportunity to cure the lease violation, if that is the basis for the action; and
  • An opportunity to challenge the landlord’s claims in court.

Any eviction must be pursuant to a court order, and must be scheduled and supervised by the U.S. Marshals Service. 

  • Self-help evictions (where the landlord attempts to evict a tenant without the involvement of the U.S. Marshals Service) are not allowed.
  • Contact the Metropolitan Police Department if a landlord attempts a self-help eviction.
  • If the tenant is being evicted due to non-payment of rent, the tenant has the right to avoid eviction by paying the total amount owed, as determined by the court, up until the time the eviction is executed.
  • After an eviction Writ is issued, the landlord may demand the full amount determined by the court (plus all fees and court costs) be paid in cash or certified funds.

View the Tenant Resource list here.