Crescent Property Management
Call Us Email Us

Licensing & Compliance

Locality: District of Columbia | Maryland | Virginia

District of Columbia

When you become a landlord, you are “going into business”. The District of Columbia requires all business owners of residential rental property to obtain a Basic Business License (BBL) and register with two other agencies.

The most important consequence of not obtaining a BBL is that you will be operating “illegally”. If some legal action were to occur related to your property, you may have a problem defending why you are not in compliance with the law. This may also affect your insurance coverage (insurance policies do not usually cover business operating unlawfully).

To have a legal DC rental, you need to take 5 steps:

  1. Office of Tax and Revenue – file the FR-500
  2. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs – Apply for a BBL, which costs $190.30 every two years for a single family rental. Additional fees apply for properties with two or more units.
  3. Schedule an inspection by DCRA. If your property fails the inspection, a second inspection is required after repairs are made.
  4. Department of Housing & Community Development – Register for Rent Control or a Claim of Exemption. If you own more than four rental properties in DC or your property is owned by an entity, your property is subject to rent control.
  5. Certificate of Occupancy – required only for properties of 2+ units.

CPM offers the DC licensing service as a separate service. You may sign up for this service regardless if your property managed by us.

For a single family home, condo, or coop unit, CPM charges $475 to complete the entire process for you, which includes the $190.30 DC fee. If repairs are needed after the initial inspection, the property owner is responsible for completing the repairs unless your property is managed by CPM.


Please fill in the information below. We will contact you within one business day to confirm your registration was received and your license is in process.

ALL FIELDS ARE REQUIRED except Owner Two section

My property is owned by:

Owner One

Full Legal Name or Entity

Social Security Number or Tax ID #



Mailing Address

Owner Two(Optional)

Full Legal Name

Social Security Number

Address of Property


Number of Bedrooms

Number of DC rental properties owned

By submitting this form, I/We agree to:

Pay CPM $475.00 to complete the DC licensing process on my/our behalf. This includes DC's fee of $190.30

Provide keys or access instructions for required inspections

Have tenant complete the BBL Inspection Consent Form provided by CPM

Complete repairs should the first inspection fail and notify CPM when the property is ready for re-inspection

* If your property has two or more units, please contact us directly to review the details of your specific situation. There are additional fees and requirements such as a Certificate of Occupancy.


In Maryland, there are various state, county, and city requirements. Assisting you with Maryland compliance is included in our management services.

All dwellings before 1978 must register with Maryland Department of the Environment. Requirements include registration in the program, distributing educational materials to tenants, completing lead testing at each tenant turnover, and abating any lead hazards if required.

In addition to state lead requirements, all rental properties in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County must register for a rental license.

The cities of Rockville and Takoma Park alse have additional requirements, including a housing inspection and rent stabilization in some cases. CPM is certified to manage properties in Takoma Park, as required by the city regulations. As a landlord in Takoma Park, you do not have to become certified if CPM is your property manager.


Some jurisdiction in Virginia require licensing. You’re also required to register for tax purposes. Please contact us to review the requirements of your specific jurisdiction. Assisting you with Virginia compliance is included in our management services.