June 8

DC Council lowers caps on rent increases for rent controlled units

On Tuesday June 6th, 2023, the D.C. Council approved emergency legislation that will lower the caps on annual rent increases for Rent Control Year 2023 (5/1/23 to 4/30/24). The “Rent Stabilized Housing Inflation Protection Emergency Amendment Act of 2023” imposes a cumulative cap on annual rent increases for the 24-month period between 5/1/23 and 4/30/25 of 8% for elderly and disability tenants, and 12% for all other tenants. This means that if a landlord followed the Rental Housing Commission’s January 2023 determination and increased the rent by 8.9% (our original post on that determination can be found here), then next year’s increase can be no greater than 3.1% (i.e., 8.9 + 3.1 = 12.0).

There are other provisions in this new law regarding issuance of revised rent increase notices, as well as refunds of overpayments of rent increases.

Please give us a call to discuss these nuanced issues in detail.

May 1

Battino & Sokolow Attorneys Selected to the 2023 DC Super Lawyers List

Thomson Reuters recognized both Morris Battino and Aaron Sokolow as Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers for 2023 in the area of real estate law.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Candidates for recognition are graded on a point scale that considers 12 indicators of professional achievement, including experience, representative clients, verdicts and settlements, honors and awards and pro bono and community service.  The objective of Super Lawyers’ patented multiphase selection process is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource when searching for legal counsel.

Morris Battino’s Super Lawyer page can be found here.

Aaron Sokolow’s Super Lawyer page can be found here.

February 20

Washington, DC 2023 Rent Control CPI Published

The Washington, DC 2023 Rent Control CPI calculations have been published. The 2023 rent control percentage will be 8.9%. The 2023 CPI-W will be 6.9% – an increase of 2.7% over the 4.2% CPI for rent control year 2022 (which ends April 30, 2023). The new CPI will apply to standard rent increases that become effective during rent control year 2023. If a rent-controlled unit is occupied by an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability, the maximum standard rent increase will be 5%. To qualify for this lower rent increase cap, the tenant must have registered his or her elderly or disability status with the Rent Administrator. The 5% limitation is used because the CPI-W (6.9%) and the SS COLA (8.7%) both exceed the 5% maximum annual rent adjustment for elderly tenants and tenants with a disability.

The Rental Housing commission’s official notice can be read here.

September 6

Civil Litigation over Real Estate Commissions in Washington, DC

Attorney Aaron Sokolow was recently quoted in a Bisnow article about a civil litigation over real estate commissions in Washington, DC. A recent court case found that the commission may not be due if a dual representation was not properly disclosed. You can read the article here.  As stated in the article, the Court’s ruling “centered on a local law that dictates how exactly brokers must disclose dual representation, a practice that has become increasingly common as the brokerage industry has consolidated over the last decade and the same few firms handle the lion’s share of commercial listings. “

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