D.C. tenants should look to their lease to see whether short-term rentals are prohibited. Tenants are responsible for any damage or other issues caused by their guests. D.C. may soon pass a law clarifying the rules.
As of July 1st, 2018, D.C. does not have a direct law addressing short-term rentals, such as Airbnb and Homeaway. However, it has some obscure laws for homeowners that seek to run a short-term rental from their home, basically requiring a business license and compliance with zoning laws. But the law is silent about renters, is not very clear, and is not frequently enforced. Furthermore, landlords will typically be responsible for violations by their tenants.
In practicality, tenants should look to the lease to see whether the landlord prohibits short-term rentals. Failure to abide by a lease could result in an eviction, although it’s rare for tenants to be evicted for failing to follow such rules (it rarely affects the landlord’s bottom line).
Responsibility for Damages
Unless the tenant and landlord have come to a different agreement, the tenant is responsible for any damages caused by their guests. The tenants are also accountable for noise-related issues, theft of their own property, and nearly any other problem caused by the guest.
Changes to Law
In late 2017 and early 2018, some bills have been proposed that will clarify the rules of Airbnb. Please check local news and regulations for the latest updates on whether there are newly passed rules on short-term renting. http://www.subletalert.com/understanding-dcs-airbnb-rules/