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§ 22-902 Commercial tenant harassment.
   a.   A landlord shall not engage in commercial tenant harassment. Except as provided in subdivision b of this section, commercial tenant harassment is any act or omission by or on behalf of a landlord that (i) would reasonably cause a commercial tenant to vacate covered property, or to surrender or waive any rights under a lease or other rental agreement or under applicable law in relation to such covered property, and (ii) includes one or more of the following:
      1.   using force against or making express or implied threats that force will be used against a commercial tenant or such tenant’s invitee;
      2.   causing repeated interruptions or discontinuances of one or more essential services;
      3.   causing an interruption or discontinuance of an essential service for an extended period of time;
      4.   causing an interruption or discontinuance of an essential service where such interruption or discontinuance substantially interferes with a commercial tenant’s business;
      5.   repeatedly commencing frivolous court proceedings against a commercial tenant;
      6.   removing from a covered property any personal property belonging to a commercial tenant or such tenant’s invitee;
      7.   removing the door at the entrance to a covered property occupied by a commercial tenant; removing, plugging or otherwise rendering the lock on such entrance door inoperable; or changing the lock on such entrance door without supplying a key to the new lock to the commercial tenant occupying the covered property;
      8.   preventing a commercial tenant or such tenant’s invitee from entering a covered property occupied by such tenant;
      9.   substantially interfering with a commercial tenant’s business by commencing unnecessary construction or repairs on or near covered property;
      10.    engaging in any other repeated or enduring acts or omissions that substantially interfere with the operation of a commercial tenant’s business;
      11.   threatening a commercial tenant based on (i) such person's actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, caregiver status, uniformed service, sexual orientation, alienage or citizenship status, status as a victim of domestic violence or status as a victim of sex offenses or stalking, or (ii) the commercial tenant's status as a person or business impacted by COVID-19, or the commercial tenant's receipt of a rent concession or forbearance for any rent owed during the COVID-19 period; provided that for the purposes of this paragraph:
         (a)   the term “COVID-19 period” means March 7, 2020 through the later of (i) the end of the first month that commences after the expiration of the moratorium on enforcement of evictions of any tenant, residential or commercial, set forth in executive order number 202.8, as issued by the governor on March 20, 2020 and extended thereafter, (ii) the end of the first month that commences after the expiration of the moratorium on certain residential evictions set forth in section 4024 of the coronavirus aid, relief, and economic security, or CARES, act and any subsequent amendments to such section or (iii) September 30, 2020, inclusive;
         (b)   the term “impacted by COVID-19” means a person who has experienced one or more of the following situations:
            (1)   such person was diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis; provided that for the purposes of this subparagraph, the term “COVID-19” means the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV;
            (2)   a member of such person’s household was diagnosed with COVID-19;
            (3)   such person was providing care for a family member or a member of such person’s household who was diagnosed with COVID-19;
            (4)   a member of such person’s household for whom such person had primary caregiving responsibility was unable to attend school or another facility that was closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 state disaster emergency and such school or facility care was required for the person to work; provided that for the purposes of this subparagraph, the term “COVID-19 state disaster emergency” means the state disaster emergency declared by the governor in executive order number 202 issued on March 7, 2020;
            (5)   such person was unable to reach their place of business because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 state disaster emergency or because such person was advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
            (6)   such person became primarily responsible for providing financial support for the household of such person because the previous head of the household died as a direct result of COVID-19;
            (7)   such person’s business is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 state disaster emergency; and
         (c)   a business is “impacted by COVID-19” if (i) it was subject to seating, occupancy or on-premises service limitations pursuant to an executive order issue by the governor or mayor during the COVID-19 period or (ii) its revenues during any three-month period within the COVID-19 period were less than 50 percent of its revenues for the same three-month period in 2019 or less than 50 percent of its aggregate revenues for the months of December 2019, January 2020, and February 2020 and such revenue loss was the direct result of the COVID-19 state disaster emergency. A revenue loss shall be deemed to be the direct result of the COVID-19 state disaster emergency when such disaster emergency was the proximate cause of such revenue loss;
      12.   requesting identifying documentation that would disclose the citizenship status of a commercial tenant, an invitee of a commercial tenant or any person seeking entry to the covered property in order to patronize such commercial tenant;
      13.   unreasonably refusing to cooperate with a tenant’s permitted repairs or construction activities; or
      14.   attempting to enforce a personal liability provision that the landlord knows or reasonably should know is not enforceable pursuant to section 22-1005 of the code.
   b.   A landlord’s lawful termination of a tenancy, lawful refusal to renew or extend a lease or other rental agreement, or lawful reentry and repossession of the covered property shall not constitute commercial tenant harassment for purposes of this chapter.
(L.L. 2016/077, 6/28/2016, eff. 9/26/2016; Am. L.L. 2019/185, 10/26/2019, eff. 10/26/2019; Am. L.L. 2020/053, 5/26/2020, eff. 5/26/2020; Am. L.L. 2020/055, 5/26/2020, eff. 5/26/2020)