Home Buying in Washington>Question Details

Lenz1105, Home Buyer in Washington, DC

If tenants are served a TOPA notice and do not register to purchase the home, what potential issues does the buyer need to be aware of?

Asked by Lenz1105, Washington, DC Sun Feb 21, 2010

I am under contract to purchase a SFH in Washington DC that is currently occupied by tenants. The tenants were served a "Form B" TOPA notice for their opportunity to purchase. They were also served another notice when we went under contract on the house by the seller. If their period to purchase passes, what rights do the tenants have in DC to remain in the property? What issues should I be concerned about prior to close? Our intention is to live in the SFH ourselves, and not to rent it out. Their current lease ends in May.

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You will need to serve them with a Notice to Vacate. I suggest you call the Consumer and Regulatory Affairs office in DC (go the DC website...numbers are there). Ask for the appropriate form and talk with someone there for particulars. Your title company should also give you advice/information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
Hey Lenz,

In DC tenants have very strong rights and can make life difficult in general when their home goes up for sale. Buying a home that is tenant occupied, you can evict them only if you plan to live in the house on the following basis: the tenant must be given 90 days' notice, in English and Spanish. The person claiming personal use and occupancy cannot rent out the property for a full year following possession.

Here's a great website that explains tenant's rights in selling property in DC:

Kelly Putz
Kangal Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 22, 2010
I would not go to settlement until the tenants move out or they give you a notarized statement that they don't intend to purchase. Your settlement attorney should have and will require these documents before you close. The tenants could make your life miserable and stay until you pay them to leave. This is a worst case scenario but I've seen it happen. The seller's agent should be taking care of this for you it is really their responsibility.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 22, 2010

Is your settlement scheduled for after the tenants lease expires and they have moved out? That would be prudent.

Check with your settlement company. In a recent sale that I worked on our settlement attorney required that the tenant sign an affidavit stating that he had no intention to purchase.

Good luck with your new home.
Deborah Hrouda
Long & Foster Realtors
Web Reference: http://metroDCmaison.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 21, 2010
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