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SEC. 8. PROCEDURE.—(a) Any petition filed by a landlord or tenant
a under section 4 shall be promptly referred to an examiner designated by the Administrator. Notice of such action, in such manner as the Administrator shall by regulation prescribe, shall be given the tenant and landlord of the housing accommodations involved. If the petition be frivolous or without merit, the examiner shall forthwith dismiss it. Such order of dismissal may be reviewed by the Administrator in the manner provided in subsection (c) of this section. The examiner shall grant a hearing upon the petition except in cases dismissed under this subsection.
(b) Hearings under this section shall be conducted in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Administrator. The landlord and tenant shall be given an opportunity to be heard or to file written statements, due regard to be given the utility and relevance of the information offered and the need for expedition. In any such hearing the common-law rules of evidence shall not be controlling,
(c) The examiner, after hearing, shall make findings of fact and recommend an appropriate order. Copies of such findings and order shall be served upon the parties to the proceeding in such manner as the Administrator may prescribe by regulation. Within five days after such service, any such party may request that the recommended order be reviewed by the Administrator. If there be no such request within such five days, the findings and recommended order of the examiner shall thereupon be deemed to be the findings and order of the Administrator: Provided, That the Administrator may review the proceedings, as herein provided, on his own motion at any time within ten days after service of the examiner's findings and order upon the parties. The Administrator may, in his discretion, grant a hearing upon the request. Upon such request or motion, the record in the case shall be forthwith transferred to the Administrator for review and he may, in his discretion, grant a hearing. He shall state his findings of fact or affirm the examiner's findings of fact which findings in either case shall be conclusive if supported by substantial evidence, and shall make an appropriate order.
Sec. 9. COURT REVIEW.—(a) Within ten days after issuance of an order of the Administrator under section 4, any party may file a petition to review such action in the municipal court of the District of Columbia, and shall forthwith serve a copy of such petition upon the Administrator. Thereupon, the Administrator shall certify and file with the court a transcript of the record upon which the order complained of was entered. Upon the filing of such transcript, the court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to affirm or set aside such order, or remand the proceeding: Provided, That the Administrator may at any time, upon reasonable notice and in such manner as he shall deem proper, rescind, modify, or set aside, in whole or in part, any such order at any time notwithstanding the pendency of the petition to review.
(b) No objection that has not been urged before the Administrator shall be considered by the court, unless the failure to urge such objection shall be excused because of extraordinary circumstances. No order shall be set aside or remanded unless the petitioner shall establish to the satisfaction of the court that the order is not in accordance with law, or is not supported by substantial evidence. The
commencement of proceedings under this section shall not, except as provided in subsection (d), operate as a stay of the Administrator's order.
(c) The municipal court of the District of Columbia is hereby granted exclusive jurisdiction to review any order of the Administrator made pursuant to section 4 of this Act. The judgment and decree of the court shall be final, subject to review as provided by law relative to other judgments of the court. Three judges of the municipal court, selected in such rotation as the judges of the court shall determine, shall sit in all proceedings under this section and shall participate in the decision of such cases.
(d) No court shall issue any interlocutory order or decree staying the effectiveness of any provision of this Act or any regulation or order issued thereunder, unless the person objecting to such provision, regulation, or order, shall file with the court an undertaking with a surety or sureties satisfactory to the court for the payment, in the event such objection is not sustained, of the amount by which the maximum rent, if any, permitted under such provision, regulation, or order, exceeds or is less than the amount actually received or paid while such stay is in effect.
Sec. 10. ENFORCEMENT, PENALTIES.—(a) If any landlord receives rent or refuses to render services in violation of any provision of this Act, or of any regulation or order thereunder prescribing a rent ceiling or service standard, the tenant paying such rent or entitled to such service, or the Administrator on behalf of such tenant, may bring suit to rescind the lease or rental agreement, or, in case of violation of a maximum-rent ceiling, an action for double the amount by which the rent paid exceeded the applicable rent ceiling and, in case of violation of a minimum-service standard, an action for double the value of the services refused in violation of the applicable minimum-service standard or for $50, whichever is greater in either case, plus reasonable attorneys' fees and costs as determined by the court Any suit or action under this subsection may be brought in the municipal court of the District of Columbia regardless of the amount involved, and the municipal court is hereby given exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all such cases.
(b) Any person who willfully violates any provision of this Act or any regulation, order, or requirement thereunder, and any person who willfully makes any statement or entry false in any material respect in any document or report required to be kept or filed thereunder, and any person who willfully participates in any fictitious sale or other device or arrangement with intent to evade this Act or any regulation, order, or requirement thereunder, shall be prosecuted therefor by the corporation counsel of the District of Columbia or an assistant, on information filed in the police court of the District of Columbia, and shall upon conviction be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
(c) No person shall be held liable for damages or penalties in any court on any grounds for or in respect of anything done or omitted to be done in good faith pursuant to any provision of this Act or any regulation, order, or requirement thereunder, notwithstanding that subsequently such provision, regulation, order, or requirement may be modified, rescinded, or determined to be invalid. The Administrator
may intervene in any suit or action wherein a party relies for ground of relief or defense upon this Act or any regulation, order, or requirement thereunder. No costs shall be assessed against the Administrator in any proceedings had or taken in accordance with this Act.
(d) Whenever in the judgment of the Administrator any person has engaged or is about to engage in any acts or practices which constitute or will constitute a violation of this Act, or any regulation, order, or requirement thereunder, he may make application to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for an order enforcing compliance with this Act or such regulation, order, or requirement, and upon a proper showing a permanent or temporary
a injunction, restraining order, or other order, shall be granted without bond.
SEC. 11. DEFINITIONS.--As used in this Act
(a) The term "housing accommodations" means any building, structure or part thereof, or land appurtenant thereto, or any other real or personal property rented or offered for rent for living or dwelling purposes in the District of Columbia (including, but without limitation, houses, apartments, hotels, rooming- or boarding. house accommodations, and other properties used for living or dwelling purposes) together with all services supplied in connection with the use or occupancy of such property.
(b) The term "services” includes the furnishing of light, heat, hot and cold water, telephone, elevator service, furnishings, furniture, window shades, screens, awnings, and storage, kitchen, bath, and laundry facilities and privileges, maid service, janitor service, the removal of refuse, and the making of all repairs suited to the housing accommodations or necessitated by ordinary wear and tear, and any other privilege or facility connected with the use or occupancy of housing accommodations.
(c) The term "rent" means the consideration, including any bonus, benefit, or gratuity, demanded or received per day, week, month, year, or other period of time as the case may be, for the use or occupancy of housing accommodations or the transfer of a lease for such accommodations.
(d) The term "maximum-rent ceiling” means the maximum rent which may be demanded or received for the use or occupancy of housing accommodations or the transfer of a lease for such accommodations.
(e) The term “minimum-service standard” means the minimum service which may be supplied in connection with the renting or leasing of housing accommodations.
(f) "The term "tenant” includes a subtenant, lessee, sublessee, or other person entitled to the use or occupancy of any housing accommodations.
(g) The term "landlord" includes an owner, lessor, sublessor, or other person entitled to receive rent for the use or occupancy of any housing accommodations.
(h) The term "person" includes one or more individuals, firms, partnerships, corporations, or associations and any agent, trustee, receiver, assignee, or other representative thereof.
(i) The term “documents” includes leases, agreements, records, books, accounts, correspondence, memoranda, and other documents, and drafts and copies of any of the foregoing.
Sec. 12. SEPARABILITY.–If any provision of this Act or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance shall be held invalid, the validity of the remainder of the Act and the applicability of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
SEC. 13. APPROPRIATION.—There is hereby authorized to be appropriated such funds as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act, to be paid out of money in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the District of Columbia not otherwise appropriated.
SEC. 14. SHORT TITLE.--This Act may be cited as the "District of Columbia Emergency Rent Act”.
Approved, December 2, 1941.
[PUBLIC LAW 715—77TH CONGRESS)
(H. R. 7235)
AN ACT To amend the District of Columbia Emergency Rent Act. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 5 (b) of the District of Columbia Emergency Rent Act (Public, Numbered 327, Seventy-seventh Congress), be amended by striking out the period at the end of said section and by inserting in lieu thereof a comma and the word “or” and by adding immediately thereafter a new paragraph reading as follows:
“(5) The housing accommodations are nonhousekeeping, furnished, accommodations located within a single dwelling unít not used as a rooming or boarding house as defined by this Act and the remaining portion of which dwelling unit is occupied by the lessor or his immediate family.", so that section 5 (b) of the District of Columbia Emergency Rent Act as so amended shall read as follows:
“(b) No action or proceeding to recover possession of housing accommodations shall be maintainable by any landlord against any tenant, notwithstanding that the tenant has no lease or that his lease has expired, so long as the tenant continues to pay the rent to which the landlord is entitled, unless.
“(1) The tenant is (a) violating an obligation of his tenancy (other than an obligation to pay rent higher than rent permitted under this Act or any regulation or order thereunder applicable to the housing accommodations involved or an obligation to surrender possession of such accommodations) or (b) is committing a nuisance or using the housing accommodations for an immoral or illegal purpose or for other than living or dwelling purposes, or
“(2) The landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the property for his immediate and personal use and occupancy as a dwelling, or
“(3) The landlord has in good faith contracted in writing to sell the property for immediate and personal use and occupancy as a dwelling by the purchaser and that the contract of sale contains a representation by the purchaser that the property is being purchased by him for such immediate and personal use and occupancy, or
“(4) The landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession for the immediate purpose of substantially altering, remodeling, or demolishing the property and replacing it with new construction, the plans for which altered, remodeled, or new construction having been filed with and approved by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, or
“(5) The housing accommodations are nonhousekeeping, furnished, accommodations located within a single dwelling unit