The TOPA Arbitrator: This DC Company Wants to Help Tenants Buy or Sell Their Rights

  • March 7th 2017

by Nena Perry-Brown

In a city with famously tenant-friendly laws, the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) is perhaps the most crucial in DC, giving renters the right of first refusal when their landlord plans to put the property on the market.

And naturally, there is now a company that wants to help those renters either buy or sell those lucrative rights.

TOPA Market is a Capitol Hill-based business that advises tenants who learn that their home is for sale. The company will explain the renter’s options and assist them in negotiating a favorable outcome.

TOPA Market is run by law firm In Rem, a company led by Andrew McGuire. McGuire has advised on several TOPA-related cases during his 20-plus years practicing law, and TOPA Market was founded nearly a year ago in order to focus solely on cases like these.

“In the last year, we’ve helped [at least six clients] recoup over $100,000 in assignment fees, probably another 12 months of free rent or abated rent, and probably another $10,000 or $20,000 in back rent or other debts owed to landlords written off,” McGuire told UrbanTurf.

TOPA allows renters to either purchase the property they live in or use their right of first refusal as leverage to secure repairs or moving expenses, cash buyouts or other negotiated benefits. TOPA Market gets compensated via a percentage of whatever payment that is negotiated for the tenant: one-third of any negotiated awards if the matter is settled prior to litigation, or 40 percent if the case goes to court.

With a firm dedicated to negotiating TOPA-related issues for tenants, we can expect more home sales playing out similarly to the situation with this house on Capitol Hill last year.

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See other articles related to: right of first refusal, tenant rights, topa

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/got_topa_this_company_wants_to_help_you_exercise_your_right_of_first_refusa/12297.

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