When Is A Landlord Permitted To Raise The Rent?

The Rental Housing Act of 1985 covers more than 60 percent of all rental housing in the District. According to this law, there are several ways a landlord can raise an apartment`s rent ceiling ­­ the legal limit that can be charged for that unit. The one most renters will run into is a yearly automatic rental increase based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI­W).

Once every 12 months, landlords of properties covered by the law are allowed to increase the rent ceiling by a percentage equal to the CPI­W, which has been running between 1 and 3 percent in the last few years. (Note: the rent ceiling is the legal amount a landlord is allowed to charge on an apartment covered by the law, but not necessarily the amount he will charge.) A landlord can increase the rent any amount he likes so long as it remains under the rent ceiling. Rent can be increased only with 30 days` written notice, and only if at least 180 days have passed since the last increase.

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