When people talk about a “nuisance” in their neighborhood, they can mean many different things that damage their quality of life, from drug sales to overgrown lawns. The District government can help, but who you can call depends on what kind of help you need. (Learn more about the Drug-, Firearm-, or Prostitution-Related Nuisance Abatement Law.)

Here is who you can contact for different types of neighborhood nuisances:

Criminal Activity

Call 9-1-1 to report criminal activity in your neighborhood, including

  • Drug use, manufacture, or sale;*
  • Illegal guns*
  • Prostitution;*
  • Stalking or harassment;
  • Vandalism;

*With the help of MPD, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) can sometimes file legal actions against property owners in cases involving drug-,firearm- or prostitution-related nuisances. These OAG actions are aimed at forcing owners of properties where criminal activity occurs to make changes that improve safety and security. They occur in addition to any criminal cases that are brought against individuals for these of offenses. You should always call MPD first if you are concerned about drugs, guns, or prostitution in your neighborhood.

For non-emergency calls, you can contact Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Command Information Center at (202) 727-9099

To request a copy of a police report, please contact the MPD Public Documents Section at (202) 727-4357

Blight & Repair Issues

Unkempt, run down, or damaged buildings are a common source of “nuisance” complaints from District residents. The District has laws that require owners to keep their property clean and buildings in good repair, called the “Housing Code.”

The Department of Buildings (DOB) enforces the Housing Code in the District. DOB inspectors can issue notices and fines for violations of the Housing Code:

  • Overgrown grass, weeds, and trash;
  • Vacant properties not boarded up;
  • Damage to the outside of a building;
  • Construction without proper permits;
  • Unlicensed commercial activities, such as
    • home rentals;
    • bars, restaurants, or entertainment;
    • car repair and tire shops;

To report any of these issues, contact DCRA to request an inspection at https://dob.dc.gov/service/get-inspection


Animal Nuisances

The Department of Health – Animal Control Division brings enforcement actions against nuisances that involve animals, including:

  • Dangerous dogs and unleashed dogs running loose;
  • Rabid animals;
  • Other animal-related issues.

Call the Department of Health to report an animal nuisance:

Monday-Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (202) 535-2323
24 hour line: (202) 576-6664