Home Buying in Washington>Question Details

Kate, Home Buyer in Washington, DC

I'm buying a SFH in DC. The house is a boarding house with 7 tenants. What is the maximum number of people allowed legally to live in a house?

Asked by Kate, Washington, DC Tue Apr 13, 2010

in DC? How can I get them out? Thanks.

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7
Kate
Thanks for the update...relieved to know that you can walk away from this property. You would have absolutely needed an attorney to help with the eviction process which could have easily taken a year or longer.

From the additional information that you provided, it sounds like you are looking for a property to flip...if your price range is under $400,000 in DC, right now you have a lot of competition from investors. I worked with a client recently who wrote 3 offers on short sale or foreclosed properties. The sellers received 2, 7 and 10 offers respectively. In 2 of the 3 situations the winning offer was an all cash offer. All of the winning offers sold above the list price...in one case 25% above.

Good luck in your house hunt. And remember the real estate adage...you make your money when you BUY the property...even in this buyer's or balanced market...you can over pay for a property.

Deborah Hrouda
Long & Foster Realtors
202.363.1800 ext 3727
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 14, 2010
Hi Kate,

Glad I could help!! If you need help finding another property, I'd love to give you a hand.
Feel free to contact me with what you're looking for and we can talk about meeting for coffee sometime.

Kelly Putz
Realtor®
DC/MD/VA
Kangal Real Estate
kputz@kangalre.com
703-961-8663
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 14, 2010
Thank you, Kelly. THis is very useful. Apparently, the tenants haven't been served TOPA, and even offered money to move out, but they refused, and want more money. They haven't been paying rent either.

Based on what I have heard, I've decided not to buy the property.

This is such a wonderul group. I appreciate everyone who answered my questions!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 14, 2010
Hi Kate,

Unfortunately, tenants in DC have a LOT of rights that are going to effect your sale. I am not a lawyer, but this is what I have been told and experienced.

If you don't already have one, make sure the owner gets you a signed copy of his offering the tenants the Right of First Refusal and that they turned it down. By law, he has to have made the offer to them to purchase the home. If not, your sale can be delayed until that is taken care of.
See page 13 of the pamphlet on this site:
http://www.dcra.dc.gov/dcra/lib/dcra/information/forms_docs/…

Also, I am fairly certain one of the rights they have is that they can't be evicted by a new owner unless that owner is going to be occupying the house. If they haven't been paying rent, then you really want the current owner to get them evicted before going ahead with your purchase, because once you become the new owner then they haven't been paying YOU rent, the process can start all over again. Check with DC housing authority to make sure what your options are if you decide to go ahead with this purchase. You may be stuck with these tenants if you don't plan to live in the house.

Kelly
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 14, 2010
I don't want to become a landlord. Want to convert it back to SFH and sell it. I heard the boarders haven't been paying rent to the previous owner before it was foreclosed. I'm trying to find ways to get them move out: e.g. maximum occupancy of single family house? What other options do I have? Thanks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
Before you become a "landlord" visit this website that offers you information on what licenses, registrations and permits are necessary in DC. As DC is the most pro-tenant city in the US, you probably should also contact DC Gov;s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs . http://www.RentJiffy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
Kate
Your situation is not clear to me from your question. Do you plan to live in the house? Is it an investment that you plan to rent in the future? How far along are you in the buying process? The tenant laws in DC are strict and you should fully understand how they affect you with respect to purchasing a property with tenants. You can research the question on the DC.gov website. I would also advise you to consult a real estate attorney.

Good luck.
Deborah Hrouda
Long & Foster Realtors
202.363.1800 ext 3727
Web Reference: http://metroDCmaison.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
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