What is the Proactive Inspection Program?

The Proactive Inspection Program is a property maintenance inspection program that was designed to routinely evaluate apartment buildings with three or more rental units for code compliance.

The Proactive Inspection Program uses a specialized algorithm, developed in conjunction with Georgetown University, to examine apartment buildings that have an increased likelihood of violations. The algorithm takes into account factors such as a building's age and the landlord's history of code violations, which allows the Department of Buildings to more effectively deploy its inspectors. 

Note: Single-family and two-family properties are not included in this program.


How did my property get included in the Proactive Inspection Program?

Properties with three or more rental units are automatically enrolled when they obtain a business license. Being enrolled means the landlords are subject to having both proactive inspections and for paying the bill the District sends them to cover the cost of the proactive inspection. One more detail: Billing for the program’s fee is based on the rental license renewal cycle.


What does the inspection entail?

The inspection will include the exterior, interior common areas, and all units. The property owner or property manager is required to be present during the inspection and provide DOB’s inspectors entry into the buildings and all eligible units.


How many units are required to be inspected?

All units in the building.

Under the Proactive Inspection Program, once your property has been identified for inspection, all units in the property will require inspection by a D.C. inspector.


Are tenant consent forms required for the inspection?


DOB Inspectors can only enter those units which have signed consent forms. Property owners and property managers are responsible for obtaining authorization for entry and collecting signed Inspection Consent forms before the unit inspection. 

You must obtain consent from all tenants prior to the inspection. 

The Basic Business License (BBL) Inspections Consent Form is available online in English, Spanish, and other languages.


What else do I need to do before the inspection?

At least five (5) days before your scheduled inspection date, please call the Proactive Inspection Program at 202-481-3393, between 9 am and 4 pm, to provide your contact information to the DOB inspector. This will allow the inspector to contact you on the morning of the inspection and give you 2-hour-window arrival time.


Why am I getting a bill for the Proactive Inspection Program fee?

In accordance with 14 DCMR § 207, all rental property owners, within the District and with properties containing three or more units, will receive a Proactive Inspection Program bill, either on a two-year or four-year cycle corresponding to their rental license billing cycle. All specific billing questions should be discussed with the Proactive Inspection Program staff at dob.proactive@dc.gov.


Will the bill coincide with the BBL renewal?

Yes and no. The Proactive Inspection fee is due at the same time as the renewal of your license. Currently, DOB does not bill the proactive inspections fees with the license renewal but instead sends a separate bill. Make sure you have paid both bills on your property.


How is the Proactive Inspection Program fee calculated?

In accordance with 14 DCMR § 207, the Proactive Inspection Program fee is $35 per unit, with a maximum cumulative fee of $2,000 biennially.

For any re-inspection DOB conducts, there is a $90 fee assessed.


Do I need to register my property?

No. All properties with three or more rental units are automatically enrolled. However, you are required to obtain a Basic Business License (BBL) for your housing rental properties. 


Who should I contact if I have a Basic Business License for my housing rental property, but I have never received a Proactive Inspection?

Your property will be scheduled in accordance with the office that handles the Proactive Inspection Program.


How do I know if my property is scheduled to be inspected?

Visit DOB’s website to see the Proactive Inspection Schedule. These are posted a week prior to the beginning of the month in which the next series of inspections are scheduled.

In addition, a letter is mailed to the responsible party on record, and the property identifiers (address, units eligible, etc.) are posted online with a Proactive Inspections Schedule/Notice of Inspection one week before the scheduled inspection date.


How often must my property get inspected?

Properties with a higher degree of compliance to code and safety regulations are inspected less frequently. Properties with a higher degree of non-compliance to code and safety regulations are inspected more often. All properties that are re-inspected because of non-compliance to cited violations will be charged a $90 re-inspection fee.


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