ONL educates students about personal safety, providing important tips on being vigilant and taking precautions to enhance their personal safety. You can contribute to enhancing students’ safety in various ways, including, for example ensuring that locks on doors and windows are in good repair and talking with your student tenants about entry into their dwelling by you, workers or contractors you have hired, inspectors, and prospective tenants.

Home safety is also of paramount concern. ONL strongly encourages students living in the District to:

  1. make sure their landlord has the required Basic Business License to rent legally; and
  2. to request a home inspection when they have concerns about an issue in or condition of their residence.

Questions about bringing your home into compliance with DC law?

  • Have questions about Basic Business Licenses (BBL)? The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is there to help accommodate landlords looking to get more information about how to bring their home into compliance. Call the Business Licensing Division at (202) 442.4311 or email your questions to

Apply for a Basic Business License (BBL) Online

  1. Visit the DCRA Business Center.
  2. Select “Apply online for Basic Business Licenses / Expedited Home Occupation Permit (eHOP)”
  3. Select primary business activity (One Family Rental or Two Family Rental)
  4. Complete steps 2-11 (Should take approximately 15 minutes)
  5. Pay for the license with credit card
  6. Print out your license
  7. Wait for a call from the DCRA to schedule an inspection or call (202) 442-9557 to schedule an inspection