Real estate developers, tenant associations, and tenants must navigate complex laws when an owner decides to sell a housing accommodation occupied by tenants or convert a rental unit into a condominium complex. Our housing and development law practice focuses on representing developers and tenant associations in the following areas:

Condominium Conversions:

Residential tenants and tenant associations have various rights when the owner(s) of a multi-unit housing accommodation seek(s) to convert the buildings into condominium complexes. Such conversions almost always require a “tenant election,” which allows tenants to decide whether or not they approve the conversion into a condominium.

Our attorneys counsel owners and developers on how to convert multi-unit complexes into condominiums and assist with all stages of the condo conversion process. Additionally, we assist tenant associations to veto condo conversions and negotiate with the owners of their housing accommodation for more favorable terms.

Tenant Opportunity to Purchase (“TOPA”):

Tenants in the District of Columbia have various rights under TOPA that are triggered when their landlords decide to sell the housing accommodation they live in. When an owner sells a housing accommodation occupied by tenants, those tenants then have the right, usually through a tenant association, to purchase the building. Tenants or a tenant association can also assign their rights to a third party developer in exchange for a monetary buyout or other benefits. Additionally, if the owner of the building enters into a contract with a third party for the sale of the property, the tenants have a “right of first refusal,” which entitles them to step into the shoes of the third-party and purchase the building on the same terms.

Our attorneys counsel developers on TOPA compliance and draft and negotiate buyout agreements. Additionally, when tenants receive notice of an offer of sale or that their apartment owner has entered into a contract with a third party, our attorneys assist tenants form tenant associations. From there, we negotiate for either the purchase of the housing accommodation or assist with negotiating with third-party developers for monetary buyouts or other tangible benefits.