Latest version.
  • Strike Chapter 1 of the International Property Maintenance Code in its entirety and insert new Chapter 1 in the Property Maintenance Code in its place to read as follows:


    109.1 Imminent danger.  The code official is hereby authorized and empowered to order and require the tenants or occupants to vacate a premises forthwith when, in the opinion of the code official: there is imminent danger of failure or collapse of a building or other structure which endangers life; or when any structure or part of a structure has fallen and life is endangered by the occupation of the structure; or when there is actual or potential danger to the building occupants or those in the proximity of any structure because of explosives, explosive fumes or vapors, or the presence of toxic fumes, gases or materials; or when the health or safety of occupants of the premises or those in the proximity of the premises is immediately endangered by an unsanitary condition or the operation of defective or dangerous equipment.  The code official shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such structure a notice or order reading as follows: “This Structure Is Unsafe and Its Occupancy Has Been Prohibited by the code official.”  It shall be unlawful for any person to enter such structure except for the purpose of securing the structure, making the required repairs, removing the hazardous condition, or demolishing the same.


    109.1.1 Special provisions applicable to residential premises. 

  Copies of notices and orders.  The code official shall provide tenants of residential premises with copies of notices and orders issued pursuant to Section 109 in accordance with Section 107.7.  The code official shall not be subject to any other tenant notification provisions, except as expressly set forth in Section 107.7.

  Building closures.  Where the code official posts a closure or imminently dangerous notice or order pursuant to Section 109.1, the code official is authorized to order all tenants or occupants to vacate the imminently dangerous structure or dwelling unit.  The notice or order shall include the time by which the premises must be vacated, provided that tenants and occupants shall be given at least 24 hours to vacate, unless the code official determines that tenants and occupants must leave the premises immediately for their personal safety.  If any tenant or occupant fails to vacate the structure or unit within the time specified in the notice or order, the code official is authorized to order removal of the tenant or occupant from the structure or unit.

  Other rental housing provisions.  The removal of tenants from imminently dangerous premises, or the service of an order to vacate, pursuant to this Section 109 shall not be considered an eviction or notice to vacate under D.C. Official Code § 42-3505.01 (2012 Repl.).  Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing herein shall be construed to nullify or abrogate any other rights to which a tenant is entitled under District laws or regulations, including relocation assistance, the right to reoccupy the rental unit following rehabilitation, or the right to pursue rights and remedies under D.C. Official Code Title 42, Chapter 34 (2012 Repl. & 2013 Supp.).


    109.1.2 Appeals.  Imminent danger notices and orders, and other notices and orders issued pursuant to Section 109, are appealable to OAH pursuant to Section 107.8, but any appeal shall not stay the enforcement of the notice or order.  Any person ordered to take emergency measures or actions shall comply with such order forthwith.  The expedited hearing procedures set forth in Section 107.8.2 shall not apply to orders and notices issued pursuant to Section 109.


    109.1.3 Historic preservation.  Emergency measures affecting a historic landmark or a building or structure located within an historic district shall comply with D.C. Official Code § 6-803(b) (2012 Repl.).


    109.2 Temporary safeguards.  Whenever, in the opinion of the code official, there is imminent danger due to an unsafe condition, the code official shall order the necessary work to be done, including the boarding up of openings, to render such structure temporarily safe whether or not the legal procedure herein described has been instituted; and shall further cause such other action to be taken as the code official deems necessary to meet such emergency. 


    109.3 Closing streets.  When necessary for the public safety, the code official is authorized to temporarily close sidewalks, streets, buildings, other structures, and places adjacent to such unsafe structure, and prohibit them from being used.


    109.4 Emergency repairs.  For the purposes of this section, the code official shall employ the necessary labor and materials to perform the required work as expeditiously as possible.


    109.5 Costs of emergency repairs.  Where the code official causes emergency work to be done pursuant to Section 109.2 or Section 109.4, the costs incurred in the performance of emergency work and expenses incident thereto shall be paid from appropriations of the District of Columbia on certification of the code official and shall be assessed as a tax against the property on which the emergency work or repairs were performed in accordance with Section 106.5.  Nothing herein shall be deemed to preclude conversion of a special assessment lien to an administrative judgment, enforceable in the same manner as any other civil judgment under District of Columbia law, as authorized by D.C. Official Code § 42-3131.01 (2012 Repl.).


    109.5.1 Additional costs of emergency repairs.  Costs of emergency repairs shall also be deemed to include, but are not limited to, costs associated with cleaning the premises to comply with the Property Maintenance Code, utility removal or disconnection costs, court costs, fines, and penalties.  If the code official determines that no other shelter is available to tenants or occupants removed from residential premises pursuant to Section 109.1, the code official has discretion to assess all expenses incident to tenant relocation as a cost of emergency repairs, including, but not limited to, temporary housing, security deposits and the first month’s rent if required. 


    109.6 Condemnation.  The code official is authorized to refer a building or structure determined to be imminently dangerous under this Section 109 to the Board of Condemnation of Insanitary Buildings for issuance of an order of condemnation pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 6-903 (2012 Repl.).




Section 10 of the Construction Codes Approval and Amendments Act of 1986 (Act), effective March 21, 1987 (D.C. Law 6-216; D.C. Official Code § 6-1409 (2012 Repl.)) and Mayor’s Order 2009-22, dated February 25, 2009, as amended.


Final Rulemaking published at 61 DCR 3196 (March 28, 2014 – Part 2); as corrected by Errata Notice published at 61 DCR 5246 (May 23, 2014).


The District of Columbia Property Maintenance Code (2013), referred to as the “Property Maintenance Code,” consists of the 2012 edition of the International Property Maintenance Code, published by the International Code Council (ICC), as amended by the District of Columbia Property Maintenance Code Supplement (2013) (12 DCMR G). The International Property Maintenance Code is copyrighted by the ICC and therefore is not republished here. However, a copy of the text may be obtained at: