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 the 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.