The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) issues two types of notices - a Notice of Violation (NOV) and a Notice of Infraction (NOI).
- An NOV identifies violations of the DC Building Codes and orders a property owner to abate - or fix - the violation within a mandatory time period.
- An NOI is issued if the violations cited in the NOV are not fixed within the mandatory time period. If you are issued an NOI you are also issued a civil penalty (fine).
Example Lifecycle of a Housing Code Inspection
- Step One: Resident reports possible housing code violations to DCRA via 202-442-9557 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Step Two: (48 Hours to 10 Days): DCRA Inspections Division schedules and conducts Initial Inspection
- Step Three: (within 48 Hours after Inspection):
If violations exist, Inspector issues Notice of Violation for each violation. Each has a predetermined abatement period of 24 hours to 30 days.
- Step Four: (within 5 days after NOV written):
Owner is served NOVs either by U.S. Mail or directly.
- Step Five: (with 24 hours to 30 days based on abatement period):
DCRA schedules reinspection of violation and determines if violations were abated.
- Step Six: (within 4 days of reinspection) If violations cited still exist, Inspector sends case file with photos and NOVs to Enforcement Division.
- Step Seven: (within 4 days of reinspection) Depending upon severity of violations, Inspections Division may recommend city make repairs and bill owner.
- Step Eight: (within 14 calendar days) Enforcement Division reviews file and creates Notices of Infraction which levy a fine against property owners.
- Step Nine: (within 5 days) Owner is served NOIs via U.S. Mail or directly and a copy id forwarded to the Office of Administrative Hearing. In general, the NOI does not eliminate the need for the property owner to abate the violation. DCRA can issue multiple NOIs for the same violation until the issue is abated.
- Step 10: Owner either pays fines or appeals through the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).
- Step 11: (30 days to 3 months) If appealed, OAH schedules hearing on NOIs. For more information on the OAH process, visit the OAH Website.
How a Notice of Infraction is Issued
DCRA will conduct a re-inspection of the property on or after the date you are required to complete the specified corrective action.
If DCRA determines that you have failed to correct the violations(s) within the specified period of time, your case may be referred to the Office of the Attorney General of the District of Columbia for criminal prosecution. In addition, DCRA has the right to abate any conditions for which you have been cited pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 42-3131.01 and other law, and to assess the costs of correcting the condition as a tax on the premises.
Failure to pay such costs will result in a lien being placed upon your property without notice that could result in the property being sold at a tax sale if you do not reimburse the District for its cost of correction.
Whenever work related to abatement of NOV could result in the disturbance of lead paint, the respondent shall abide by all applicable provisions of the "Lead-Hazard Prevention and Elimination Act of 2008" and the EPA "Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule" regarding lead-based paint activities, including adherence to "lead-safe work practices." For more information, go to http://ddoe.dc.gov under "Lead and Healthy Housing".
If you do not correct the violations for which you have been cited in this Notice of Violation, you may be issued a Notice of Infraction which requires you to pay a fine for the violation(s) that you did not timely correct. The Notice of Infraction is a separate civil matter from this Notice of Violation. If you are issued a Notice of Infraction which assesses a fine for the violation(s), you will have separate appeal rights for the Notice of Infraction. Those appeal rights will be explained in the Notice of Infraction.
Requests for Extensions
You may request additional time to correct the conditions specified in Notices of Violations. Extension requests must be in writing and submitted to: The Chief Building Inspector Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 1100 4th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024, prior to the expiration of the time set for making the corrections. The Inspector who issued this Notice of Violation does not have the authority to grant an extension. Extensions will not be granted unless you demonstrate that (a) you have been proceeding in good faith to correct the violations, and (b) there is good cause for the delay.
Any questions about Notices of Violation may be directed to the Inspections and Compliance Administration at 202-481-3524.
You have the right to challenge a Notice of Violation requiring you to correct the violation(s) cited by requesting a hearing. To request a hearing, you may obtain a copy of the appeal form from the Office of Administrative Hearings located at One Judiciary Square 441 4th St., NW, Washington, DC 20001 or ask that it be faxed to you. You may file the appeal form in person at the Office of Administrative Hearings, or you may fax it to (202) 442-9451.
Alternatively, you may mail your appeal form requesting a hearing to the Office of Administrative Hearings at P.O. Box 77880, Washington, D.C. 20013-8880. Any notice of violation that you are appealing should be attached to your appeal form.
Your appeal must be filed within the timeframe specified for correction in the notice. If the last day for filing your appeal falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday in the District of Columbia, then your appeal period for requesting a hearing extends to the next business day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. You may call the Office of Administrative Hearings at 442-9094 for assistance.