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A Proposed Bill Would Exempt Certain DC Homes From TOPA

by UrbanTurf Staff

Certain homeowners in DC will likely cheer legislation introduced on Tuesday that, if passed, will exempt their homes from the city’s controversial TOPA regulations.

At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds introduced the “TOPA Accessory Dwelling Unit Act of 2017” which would exempt owner-occupied, single family homes with accessory dwelling units from the city’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act.

Under the bill, only properties with two units would be exempt, and one of the units must occupy at least two-thirds of the total square footage and be occupied by the homeowner. In short, TOPA gives residents of a home the right of first refusal if their landlord or the owner puts the home on the market.

“In single-family homes with one accessory dwelling unit, some tenants have abused the spirit of the law by delaying the sale of the property for up to 6 months and demanding large amounts of money from the owner in exchange for not exercising the TOPA law,” a press statement from Bonds’ office read. “This practice has led to a growing cottage industry of ‘TOPA lawyers’ and adds to the overall cost of a single family home sale which is passed to the buyer and decreases affordability. The Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization has reviewed all single-family home TOPA offers of the past several years and found that offers very rarely resulted in tenant purchases.”

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_proposed_bill_would_exempt_certain_dc_homes_from_topa/12660

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