New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

DC Council amends TOPA In the midst of the oversight season, the Council pressed forward with its legislative agenda. On March 6, 2018, they passed a somewhat controversial TOPA Amendment, exempting owner-occupied single family homes. TOPA applies to the owners of rental housing accommodations regardless of the number units. Where an owner wants to sell Read more about New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes[…]

Kool-Aid guy neighbor construction

Neighbor construction projects in DC

Neighbor construction can be inconvenient and contentious.  Whether you are the builder or the homeowner you need to know your rights. If you have ever lived through a home improvement project you know it is a flat out, unmitigated pain-in-the-ass.  There is constant dust, noise, and vibration. Not to mention strangers invading your property, and Read more about Neighbor construction projects in DC[…]

Don’t refuse to rent based on criminal record until your read this

The DC Human Rights Act includes protections for an applicant’s criminal record. One of the things the District has gotten right is establishing, maintaining and expanding one of the most protective Human Rights laws in the nation. I am very proud to live in a place where wrongful discrimination, of any kind, is simply not Read more about Don’t refuse to rent based on criminal record until your read this[…]

Do you need to get your condo units to market faster?

I’ve handled dozens of condominium and cooperative projects for owners and developers and by far the biggest complaint is the amount of time that the process takes from beginning to end.  As experienced DC real estate developers and agents can tell you, timing is extremely important to the success of any sales project. From my Read more about Do you need to get your condo units to market faster?[…]

TOPA’s Red-Headed Stepchild

In 2008, the Council passed the District Opportunity to Purchase Act (DOPA). As the name suggests, DOPA gives the District the right to purchase residential buildings, in certain circumstances, where the owner seeks to sell to a third party. The 2008 Act left many open questions for the Agency to resolve by promulgating regulations. On Read more about TOPA’s Red-Headed Stepchild[…]

No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

The local media, government officials (usually when seeking re-election), housing advocates and the legal services community throw around the amorphous term “slumlord” to describe a landlord that treats tenants badly by failing or refusing to make needed repairs to a rental unit.  The point at which a landlord crosses over into ‘slumlord’ territory was anybody’s Read more about No Building Permits for “Slumlords”[…]

What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

On November 7, 2017, Council members Bonds and Nadeau introduced legislation to limit the rent that a landlord may charge for a unit after termination of a Federal or District subsidy. The Rental Housing Affordability Re-establishment Act of 2017 essentially provides, that upon termination of a tenant subsidy, a landlord may only charge a tenant the Read more about What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out[…]

Dining with Dogs

It is now legal for restaurant owners to allow patrons to bring pets into the outdoor seating areas provided certain conditions are met. Personally, I had no idea that allowing dogs in outdoor seating areas of restaurants was illegal. I have seen this, for years, all over the city, and frankly, thought nothing of it. Read more about Dining with Dogs[…]

Housing Code Violations as Consumer Fraud

On October 3, 2017, the Council enacted an amendment to the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act to allow the Attorney General to prosecute cases of consumer fraud against landlords who fail to correct housing code violations in rental units. The At-Risk Tenant Protection Clarifying Emergency Amendment Act of 2017, is intended to clarify that the Read more about Housing Code Violations as Consumer Fraud[…]