Private owners govern their own properties. However, there will still be a lease application, security deposits, and possibly an application fee. A credit check will normally be conducted.
In the District of Columbia, private owners are required to have a Basic Business License (BBL) to rent to you. This license ensures that the property meets minimum safety and occupational standards to rent.
When looking at private homes in the District, please be sure that the property owner has the BBL. You may check on whether your owner has a BBL at https://dcra.dc.gov. Click on Online services, then business license, and then verify business license by entering address.
If a BBL does not exist, seek another property that has a BBL. Should your property owner need information on the BBL, direct him/her to the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ website to apply.