TOPA: Confused yet?

TOPA: Confused yet?

We've have a lot of questions about TOPA lately. Some of them listed below.

Since single family properties are exempt from TOPA, does the seller/landlord need to do anything when listing the property after July 3rd?

Short answer is yes. The Landlord must send out the Notice To Tenant Of Landlord’s Receipt Or Solicitation Of An Offer To Sell The Single-Family Accommodation and Notice Of Intent to Sell. The forms can be found on DC Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) website.

Unlike the old TOPA notices, this Notice is not required to be sent by certified mail, although DHCD strongly recommends sending the Notice via certified mail in addition to the other forms of delivery.

Once the above Notice is sent, is the tenant required to respond?

Yes, if the tenant believes he/she falls into one of the protected classes – elderly (62 or older) or disabled – and the tenant meets the guidelines on timing of lease signing and occupation of the property; the tenant is required to remit the appropriate forms with proof age or disability within 20 days of receiving Notice of Sale to the DHCD (Forms 2 & 4) and remit a separate form to the Landlord (Form 2). The District will then determine if the individual falls into the protected class.

Can the tenant assign his or her rights under the new law?

If the tenant is determined to be in the protected class, that tenant will have tenant rights to purchase the property and be entitled to receive a written Offer of Sale from the landlord. The right to purchase is assignable, but it is very limited to whom it can be assigned and the type of consideration for the assignment.

So I listed the property prior to July 3rd and sent out the old Notices as required by the underwriter. The tenant answered with the new forms proving he is an elderly tenant. What do I do now?

Good question. All cases will be different until the underwriters give us definitive guidance. In this case, we did an assignment of rights from the tenant to the seller. The new law limits the consideration and the tenant appeared to be acting in good faith; so the assignment was written to conform to both the specific guidelines of the underwriter and the District.

When the law has been in effect longer and the title underwriters have given definitive guidance, we will provide an update on our website.

TOPA: New law is finally here!

TOPA: New law is finally here!

The new TOPA statute for a single-family home, condominium unit and single-family home with an appurtenant unit is finally in place.

Notices are up on DC Department of Housing and Community Development’s website.

Our underwriters have not come out with their definitive stance on what will now close the loop for TOPA, but we know this – if the property was listed prior to the enactment of the law on July 3, 2018; all of the old rules of TOPA apply.

This means the old notices must be given via certified mail and the formal process must be followed.

If the property was listed on or after July 3, 2018; new rules apply.

At the moment, the underwriters are asking that the new Notices be given as prescribed by the statute and then, to close the loop, tenants are asked to sign a TOPA affidavit.

The GCAAR form 1316 seems to be acceptable, but check in with the title company. All underwriters are different. The concern still being an affirmative step be taken to clarify the tenant is not going to act and is not a risk for title insurance purposes.

We’ll continue to share TOPA updates as they come in.

5 Things to Know About DC Tax Abatement

As a homebuyer, it is important to be aware of programs you can benefit from in order to reduce the overall cost of the process of buying a place to live.

The DC Tax Abatement program is one such opportunity that a homebuyer can and should take advantage of.

However, there are qualifications that a homebuyer must meet in order to become eligible for this program, and it is important to stay informed on what these are.


Close It! House of the Week: Cozy condo in the heart of Columbia Heights

Close It! House of the Week: Cozy condo in the heart of Columbia Heights

This week, we’re headed over to Columbia Heights to this cozy 654 square foot, 2-bedroom condo. This garden-style suite is conveniently located near the Metro which makes the commute easier. This lovely property is listed for $499,000.

This beautiful condo features a modern kitchen with granite countertops and luxurious stainless-steel appliances. Brazilian hardwood floors lead the way to the two marble bathrooms. In addition, this property features a private balcony for owners to enjoy. What makes this property so appealing is its fully equipped fitness room that is perfect for anyone who likes to stay active. Something else that makes this property so special is its central location near plenty of restaurants and shops for the owners to explore.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, their cash to close number will be approximately $114,825.64. Monthly payments will then be around $2,224.50 per month (this does not include HOA fees). For a complete picture of the cash to close, including the seller’s side of the transaction, try the Web version of Close It™ or download the free Close It™ iOS app.

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