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Burkhardt v. District of Columbia Rental Housing Commission

Court of Appeals of The District of Columbia

December 20, 2018

Christine Burkhardt, et al., Petitioners,
v.
District of Columbia Rental Housing Commission, Respondent, and Klingle Corporation, Intervenor.

          Argued April 5, 2018

          On Petition for Review of a Decision and Order of the District of Columbia Rental Housing Commission (NV-1-09)

          Carol S. Blumenthal for petitioner Christine Burkhardt.

          Blake Nelson, with whom Carol S. Blumenthal was on the brief, for petitioners Blake Nelson and Wendy Nelson.

          Donald Wassem, pro se.

          Jason Lederstein, Assistant Attorney General, with whom Karl A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Todd S. Kim, Solicitor General at the time the brief was filed, and Loren L. AliKhan, Deputy Solicitor General at the time the brief was filed, were on the brief, for respondent District of Columbia Rental Housing Commission.

          Richard W. Luchs, with whom Debra F. Leege was on the brief, for intervenor Klingle Corporation.

          Jonathan Levy was on the brief for Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, amicus curiae.

          Joel Cohn, Dennis Taylor, and Umar Ahmed were on the brief for the District of Columbia Office of the Tenant Advocate, amicus curiae.

          Before Easterly and McLeese, Associate Judges, and Ruiz, Senior Judge.

          McLeese, Associate Judge

         Petitioners Christine Burkhardt, Blake Nelson, Wendy Nelson, and Donald Wassem were tenants in the Kennedy-Warren, an apartment complex owned by intervenor Klingle Corporation. They challenge an order of the Rent Administrator authorizing Klingle to issue notices requiring petitioners to temporarily vacate their apartments so that Klingle could renovate. We conclude that we lack jurisdiction, and we therefore dismiss the petition.

         I.

         We turn first to the provisions of Title 42 of the D.C. Code that describe the process by which a housing provider can temporarily recover possession of a rental unit for the purpose of renovation. A housing provider must apply to the Rent Administrator for approval. D.C. Code § 42-3505.01 (f)(1)(A)(i) (2018 Supp.). Such an application must include an explanation of why the renovations are necessary and cannot be made while the unit is occupied; a timetable for renovations; and a relocation plan for the tenant. D.C. Code § 42-3505.01 (f)(1)(B)(i), (iv), (v). The relocation plan must provide for each ...


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