May 01, 2020

Council of the District of Columbia to Consider a Third Emergency Coronavirus Relief Bill

3 min

The Council of the District of Columbia (the Council) has notified its members that a third coronavirus relief bill will be presented for consideration at the Council’s next legislative session on May 5, 2020. This bill, the Coronavirus Omnibus Emergency Act of 2020, includes the following requirements and provisions:

Payment of business interruption insurance claims

  • Requires insurers to pay business interruption insurance claims of District-based businesses that suffer certain losses as a result of the public health emergency, notwithstanding any District law or policy held by the business
  • Requirement only covers District-based businesses with fewer that 100 full-time employees, each of whom works 25 or more hours per week
  • Insurers that pay business interruption claims of District-based businesses pursuant to this Act may seek reimbursement from the Commissioner of the DC Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking

Limitations on third-party food delivery platforms and services

  • Limits the amount of third-party delivery platform charges to restaurants for use of their services
  • Prohibits food delivery services from reducing their drivers’ compensation rates or garnisheeing gratuities
  • Requires the third-party delivery platform to disclose to the customer the delivery commission or fee prior to completion of the transaction

Commercial and residential tenant payment plans

During the public health emergency and for one year thereafter, landlords shall develop a rent repayment program for eligible commercial and residential tenants.

The plan will:

  • Cover rent payments that become due during the period of the public health emergency
  • Waive any fees that arise from entering into any rent payment plan
  • Prohibit reporting to any credit bureau any delinquency or derogatory information about the tenant that accrues as a result of entering into a rent payment plan
  • Cover a minimum of one year, with payments made in monthly installments

Utilities payment plans

  • Electricity, gas, telecommunications, and cable companies and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) must create payment plans for their customers with terms similar to those for commercial and residential tenants
  • Telecommunications and cable companies shall not disconnect, suspend, or degrade basic services for nonpayment of a bill
  • Electricity and gas companies and DC Water shall not disconnect services for nonpayment of a bill

Amenity fees

Any amenity fee paid by a tenant to a landlord shall be refunded to the tenant on a prorated basis if that amenity is no longer available to the tenant during the public health emergency.

Residential accommodation cleaning requirements

A landlord or landlord representative shall clean (or cause to be cleaned) common areas of a housing accommodation on a regular basis, including surfaces that are touched regularly.

May 1, 2020: Council of the District of Columbia’s proposed Coronavirus Omnibus Emergency Act of 2020

For questions or comments, contact:

Claude E. Bailey
Tel: 202.344.8057