Washington, DC – The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has filed a lawsuit against the owner of a large luxury home in the Dupont Circle area for unlawfully operating an unlicensed residential housing business, public hall, boarding house, bed and breakfast, and general business. The suit accuses owner Douglas G. Jefferies of using a popular vacation-rental website to rent the property at 2220 Q Street NW for uses such as parties, weddings and large-group vacations.
The District’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has no record of Mr. Jefferies receiving, or even applying for, any sort of business licenses for the property. Between April 19, 2014 and April 12, 2015, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to more than 100 calls for service at the property, 90 of which were for disorderly conduct. This is in addition to many calls by surrounding neighbors to MPD to complain of excessive noise – many of them from late-night and early-morning hours.
“This is an example of a property owner operating a business with complete disregard for the law and with disrespect for his neighbors,” Attorney General Karl A. Racine said. “Business-licensing laws and regulations are in place to protect the health, safety and welfare of our residents, and our suit seeks an end to all business at the property until the owner complies with all relevant laws.”
Investigations by DCRA officials uncovered an ad for the property, described as the “Celebrity House Hunter Mansion,” on the vacation-rental site Airbnb.com. The home was described as a 6,000-square-foot property that could accommodate families, convention groups, weddings, private concerts and celebrity guests – including room for 400 guests inside and another 100 guests outdoors.
Assistant Attorney General Ebony Robinson in OAG’s Neighborhood and Victim Services Section has spearheaded the effort to file the suit, in conjunction with DCRA. A copy of OAG’s complaint for injunctive relief and damages in the case is attached.