Legal Information: District of Columbia

Housing Laws

Updated: 
August 31, 2015

I asked my landlord to improve security in my building to help keep me safe and s/he refused. What are my rights?

If you ask your landlord to do something that would restore or improve security to keep you safe from the abuser, the landlord cannot refuse to do it based on the fact that you are a victim of domestic violence. However, you might have to pay for the security improvement.

The following are some examples of security improvements that you might want to ask your landlord for:

  • bars on your windows
  • a more secure lock on the front door/entrance to the building
  • better lighting in the building hallway

Also, the landlord cannot punish you for calling the police to your apartment.1

1 D.C. Code § 2-1402.21(f)