District of Columbia Notice Requirements to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy

Find out how much advance notice Washington, D.C. landlords and tenants must give to end a month-to-month rental.

In Washington, D.C., both landlords and tenants must give the other party written notice of their intent to end a month-to-month tenancy. Landlords in Washington, D.C., must have a good reason—just cause—to end a month-to-month tenancy. Tenants must give 30 days' written notice to end a month-to-month tenancy, and do not need to have just cause to end the tenancy.

Notice Requirements for Washington, D.C. Landlords

Residential tenants are covered by Washington, D.C.'s "eviction protection" law (a rent control law), which specifies that so long as a tenant continues to pay rent, the landlord cannot be removed from the rental without a reason (just cause). When a landlord has just cause to evict a tenant, the landlord must serve both the tenant and the Rent Administrator a notice to vacate.

Landlords in Washington, D.C. have just cause to end a tenancy when:

  • The tenant fails to pay rent.
  • The tenant violates an obligation of the tenancy, and doesn't correct the violation within 30 days of receiving a notice to cure or vacate.
  • A court has determined that the tenant or another resident of the unit has performed an illegal act at the rental. The landlord must serve a 30-day notice to vacate, and the tenant can be evicted only if the tenant knew or should have known that an illegal act was taking place.
  • The landlord wants to move into the rental and use it as the landlord's personal residence. The landlord must give a 90-day notice to vacate.
  • The landlord has contracted in writing to sell the rental unit for the immediate and personal use and occupancy by another person. The landlord must first give the tenant notice in writing that the tenant has a right to purchase the property. The landlord must give a 90-day notice to vacate.
  • The landlord plans to make certain renovations.
  • The landlord plans to stop using the property as a rental.

For more details, see District of Columbia Code Annotated section 42-3505.01 (2020).

Notice Requirements for Washington, D.C. Tenants

It is easy for tenants in Washington, D.C. to get out of a month-to-month rental agreement. Tenants must provide a 30-day notice that they are leaving the rental in writing to the housing provider. The notice will expire on the first day of the first month at least 30 days after the date of the notice. (D.C. Code Ann. § 42-3202(b) (2020).)

In some situations, tenants might be able to move out with less (or no) notice—for example, when a landlord seriously violates the rental agreement or fails to fulfill legal responsibilities affecting health or safety.

Washington, D.C. Law and Resources on Terminating a Month-to-Month Tenancy

Washington, D.C. has strict procedures both landlords and tenants must follow when providing a notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. (See D.C. Code Ann. § 42-3509.04 (2020).) Landlords and tenants in Washington, D.C. must also follow the District's Housing Regulations. The District of Columbia Office of the Tenant Advocate is an excellent resource for finding out more about terminating month-to-month tenancies, as well as all the rules and regulations that Washington, D.C. landlords and tenants must follow.

The District of Columbia Courts maintains an excellent website filled with information about representing yourself in the D.C. courts.

To find out more about researching statutes and court decisions, visit See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo's website.

Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you