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DC Rental Housing Commission publishes rent increase caps for “Rent Control year 2019”

Friday, April 5, 2019

The DC Rental Housing Commission has published the standard rent increase caps for “Rent Control year 2019,” which are partly based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the greater DC area. They apply only to rent increases for units that are under rent control, and that take effect within the “rent control year” (May 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020). It works as follows:

  1. For elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities, the cap on the standard annual rent increase will be 2.3% (CPI)(because it is lower than the SS COLA of 2.8%). Please note – in order to qualify for the lower cap, a tenant must have registered their elderly or disability status at the Rent Administrator’s Office.
  2. For all other rent-controlled units, the standard rent increase cap will be 4.3%(= CPI + 2%).

For rent increases that take effect prior to May 1, 2019, the standard caps will continue to be 3.4 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

For units that are rent controlled, the rent for most tenants can increase by CPI + 2% or 10%, whichever is less. The rents for tenants who have registered their elderly or disability status with the Rent Administration Division can increase by the CPI, SS COLA, or 5%, whichever is least. A housing provider may seek a larger rent increase by filing a petition at the Rent Administrator office for a capital improvement, a change in services and facilities, a hardship, a substantial rehabilitation, or a Voluntary Agreement with 70% of the tenants.

To see the Rental Housing Commission order, go to: [2019 Rental Housing Commission Rent Control Caps Resolution]

View the OTA’s historical comparison of rent control CPI versus SS COLA percentages [2019 OTA History of SS COLA & RC CPI-W]