D.C. landlords are not required to provide or maintain laundry machines, including washers and dryers. However, some leases (perhaps in luxury buildings) may include promises from landlords that they will fix them.
If There’s No Lease
If there is no lease or the lease is silent about fixing appliances, furnishings, and laundry services, then the landlord does not have to provide or fix broken washing machines or dryers. If the machine is broken in such a way that may cause potential injuries to the tenant (for example, if the washer leaks near electrical wires) and the landlord knows about the problem, then the landlord is required to fix it under personal injury law. When a landlord’s negligence causes foreseeable personal injury to a person or their property, the landlord is liable for costs of that damage.
When There is a Lease
While rare, some leases may state that the landlord will furnish or repair amenities. Such a section may not name laundry machines explicitly. If nothing is mentioned, then the landlord is not required to fix it (unless repairs are necessary to prevent possible injuries to the tenant).
If the lease does require the landlord the fix the laundry machine, then the landlord must follow their lease. If the landlord violates the lease, the tenant is free to move out or take the landlord to landlord-tenant court or small claims court to get a court order or perhaps a reduction in rent. Overall, there are not strong protections for tenants if the landlord does not fix a laundry machine in a D.C. apartment.
State and Local Laws
Laws differ heavily by state, county, and city. Use RenterPeace to see more specific laws for to a given apartment and to see comments from people in your area.
Documenting the Problem
For most problems, tenants should document their issues, notify their landlord (document this too!), and stay informed about their rights. Renterpeace is a free website that helps with each step of this process. Tenants use RenterPeace to more easily see applicable laws, track their problems, and much more. There's a reason RenterPeace was selected "Best of" legal apps for both Android and iOS. It also includes household management tools, like a chore manager and bill tracker. Try it - you don't even to login first.
Using Property Management
To stay updated and organized about the problems in their apartments, landlords should use a property management system. Many are expensive or have high setup fees, but using RenterPeace for landlords is free. It's complete with legal compliance tips targeted to their problems, maintenance tracking, tenant screening, money-saving grant information, and tenant chat. It makes managing properties easier and staying updated about status of rental properties a breeze. Try it today.