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Washington D.C. Lease Agreement Templates (6)

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Washington D.C. Lease Agreement Templates (6)

Updated May 17, 2024

A Washington D.C. lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and tenant outlining the terms and conditions for the renting of residential or commercial property. After verifying a prospective tenant’s income and background, the landlord will draft a lease agreement for the parties to sign. Once signed, the agreement is legally binding.

Table of Contents

Agreement Types (6)

Standard Residential Lease Agreement – Most common agreement that allows a landlord and tenant to create a fixed lease.

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Commercial Lease Agreement – May be used for any non-residential use (retail, office, industrial, etc.).

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Month-to-Month Lease Agreement – Short-term rental arrangement that can be terminated by the landlord or tenant with 30 days’ notice.

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Rent-to-Own Lease Agreement – A standard lease with the option for the tenant to buy the property under predetermined conditions.

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Room Rental (Roommate) Agreement – Used to rent bedrooms in a living unit with shared common areas such as the kitchen, living room, bathrooms, etc.

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Sublease Agreement – For a tenant seeking to re-rent the same space they occupy to a subtenant. Usually requires a consent form from the landlord in order to sublet.

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Required Disclosures (7)

  1. District of Columbia Tenant Bill of Rights – A copy of the Tenant Bill of Rights, published by the Office of the Tenant Advocate, must be provided to the tenant.[1]
  2. Receipts – The landlord must provide the tenant with a receipt for any and all payments made for rent, security deposits, or otherwise, except in cases where the tenant pays with a personal check.[2]
  3. RAD Form 3 – The “Housing Provider” must provide this completed disclosure form to any person who submits an application to lease a rental unit.[3]
  4. RAD Form 5 – The landlord must provide this notice to the tenant stating that the disclosure forms and documents related to the rental unit are available for inspection at a publicly accessible location.[4]
  5. Voter Registration Packet – The landlord must provide the tenant with the most up-to-date version of the voter registration packet provided by the D.C. Board of Elections.[5]
  6. Bedbug Facts Sheet – The landlord must disclose to any prospective tenant whether a bedbug infestation has occurred in the building within the last 120 days before signing the lease.[6]
  7. Lead-Based Paint Disclosure & EPA Pamphlet – If the residence was built before January 1, 1978, the landlord must issue both forms to the tenant.

Security Deposits

Maximum Amount – The landlord may not charge more than one month’s rent for the security deposit.[7]

Collecting Interest – The landlord must place the tenant’s security deposit in an interest-bearing escrow account in a D.C. financial institution.[8] The interest accumulated by this account is due to the tenant at the termination of tenancy.[9]

Receipt – Unless the tenant pays the security deposit with a personal check, the landlord must provide a receipt for the deposit.[2]

Returning – Within 45 days of the end of tenancy, the landlord must return the full deposit to the tenant, or give written notice of their intent to withhold part of the funds. They must then return the balance of the deposit within 30 days of giving this notice.[10]

  • Itemized List – If the landlord gives notice that part of the security deposit will be withheld, they must provide an itemized statement of the uses to which the funds will be applied within 30 days of giving such notice to the tenant.[11]

When is Rent Due?

Grace Period – There is a five-day grace period during which a D.C. landlord cannot charge a tenant with a fee for the late payment of rent.[12] If rent has not been paid after this grace period is over, the landlord can send the tenant a 30-day notice to quit.

Maximum Late Fee – The landlord may not charge a late fee greater than 5% of the amount of rent due by the tenant.[13]

NSF Fee – A tenant who pays with a bad check cannot be held liable for more than twice the amount of the check or $100, whichever is greater.[14]

Withholding Rent – There is no statute that explicitly allows tenants to withhold rent. However, a D.C. landlord may not evict a tenant for exercising their rights, which may include withholding rent when conditions on the property violate the housing code.[15]

Right to Enter (Landlord)

Standard Access – The landlord must give at least 48 hours’ notice before entering the property of the tenant to perform any ordinary work or inspection.[16]

Immediate Access – The landlord is not required to give notice to the tenant before entering the rental unit in the event of an emergency or to ensure the safety of the property or persons on the property.[17]


Absence – There is no D.C. statute that requires a tenant to give notice to the landlord in advance of an anticipated extended absence.

Breaking the Lease – If the tenant, or the tenant’s child, is a victim of domestic abuse, they have the right to terminate a lease without penalty after providing the landlord with a copy of a protection order.[18]

Tenant’s Utility Shutoff – If the tenant violates their obligations under the law or the lease agreement by shutting off their utilities, the landlord may serve a 30-day notice to remedy the violation or vacate the property.[19]

Unclaimed Property – The landlord must keep in the rental unit, or store in a storage facility, any personal property left behind by an evicted tenant for at least seven days, after which time the property may be disposed of.[20]


  1. § 42–3502.22(b)(1)(L)
  2. § 14-306
  3. § 42–3502.22(b)(1)
  4. § 42–3502.22(b)(2)(C)
  5. § 42–3502.22(b)(1)(1B)
  6. Bedbug Control Act of 2022
  7. § 14-308.2
  8. § 14-308.3
  9. § 14-311.2
  10. § 14-309.1
  11. § 14-309.2
  12. § 42–3505.31(b)(2)
  13. § 42–3505.31(a)
  14. § 28–3152(c)
  15. § 14-4303.1
  16. § 8–231.06(a)
  17. § 42–3505.51(b)(1)
  18. § 42–3505.07(b)
  19. § 42–3505.01(b)
  20. § 42–3505.01a(d)(2)