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DC’s Class 3 Vacant Property Exemption Process

You just received a notice that your DC property has been reclassified to a Class 3 Vacant Property with exceptionally high taxes due; what should you do?

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is revitalizing neighborhoods in the District of Columbia, one vacant building at a time. This agency notifies property owners and alerts the DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) that a property is Class 3, and action must be taken.

Property owners have a chance of a Class 3 property to be reinstated to Class 1 for residential properties or Class 2 for commercial properties by completing the following two-step process:

Register the Class 3 property. Property owners are required to register a Class 3 property within 30 days of receiving initial notification, and pay the $250 registration fee. Visit DCRA’s Citizen Access Portal to register.

Apply for an exemption by filing a Vacant Building Response Form.
One of the following must be true in order to apply for an exemption:

  • Active construction: The building is currently involved in repairs, renovations, or rehabilitation.
  • Actively seeking to rent or sell: The property owner is seriously trying to rent or sell the property, but this is allowed within a limited timeframe—less than one year for a residential property, or less than two years for a commercial property.
  • Probate or litigation: The building is involved in a probate proceeding, which may not exceed 24 months, or perhaps the title is involved in a litigation.
  • Pending application for development: The property owner is awaiting approval to be granted by the Board of Zoning Adjustment, Zoning Commission, Commission on Fine Arts, Historic Preservation Review Board, Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation, or National Capital Planning Commission.
  • Economic hardship: Due to unusual circumstances or events, the property owner is asking for a temporary reprieve.

After filing the Vacant Building Response Form and submitting relevant documentation, the property owner can expect a reply from the Vacant Building Administration in approximately 30 days.

For more information, visit DCRA’s webpage for Resident Services.

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