1. Learn about this resource. 

Residents, age 62 years of age or older or who have a disability, have the opportunity to buy their home (if they lived there prior to April 15, 2018), before any other potential buyers, once their landlord provides a formal notice that they intend to sell the home. This does not guarantee a sale. The landlord must offer the property at between 10% more or less than the same price they’d sell it to another buyer. The resident and the landlord will need to negotiate the terms of the sale. 

 

This legal protection is called the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act and is administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. 

2. Check if you are eligible.

You are eligible if all of these statements are true:

  • You live in a DC single-family home—a building with one unit—that you rent.

  • You have received notice from your landlord that they intend to sell the home.

  • You signed a lease for your home on or before March 31, 2018.

  • You have lived in your home since April 15, 2018.

  • You are 62 years of age or older or have a disability.

buy your single-family home from your landlord?

DO YOU WANT TO

DHCD logo.jpg

What happens after I apply?


  1. Within 20 calendar days from the offer of sale, you must accept, deny, or begin negotiation with your landlord.
  2. If you and your landlord reach an agreement, then you must go to settlement within 45 calendar days - although extensions can be granted up to 75 days. Going to settlement means finalizing the sale of the home.




Who should I contact if I have questions?


First, take a look at the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page. If you still have questions, please reach out to the Department of Housing and Community Development at (202) 442-7200, Monday to Friday, 8:15 am - 4:45 pm. Or, you can email the department at dhcd@dc.gov using the subject line, “TOPA.”




I still need help preparing to buy a home. What should I do?


You can find information about other resources that might help on our prepare to buy a home resources page.




Frequently Asked Questions


Does the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act apply to rentals in multi-unit buildings? Yes; however the process and timeline for navigating a purchase are different than a single-family home. The Office of the Tenant Advocate can provide guidance. I want more details about the property before I decide how to move forward. How do I get these? You may request additional information for the previous two years from your landlord once you receive the Notice of Intent to Sell. To ensure that your application form deadlines are met, your landlord must provide you with the requested information within seven days of your request. What if I don’t want to buy the home I rent? If you receive a notice that your landlord intends to sell, you can of course waive your rights to buy the home if you are not interested or unable to buy. You simply need to indicate on the form provided by your landlord that you are not interested in buying. What do I do if my landlord did not provide me with a Notice of Intent to Sell? You should contact the Department of Housing and Community Development at (202) 442-7200, Monday to Friday, 8:15 am - 4:45 pm. Or, you can email the department at dhcd.casd@dc.gov using the subject line, “TOPA.”




Do all eligible applicants get to purchase their home from their landlord?


No. The purchase of the home depends on the tenant and landlord negotiations.





4. Gather more information.

What happens after I apply?


  1. Within 20 calendar days from the offer of sale, you must accept, deny, or begin negotiation with your landlord.
  2. If you and your landlord reach an agreement, then you must go to settlement within 45 calendar days - although extensions can be granted up to 75 days. Going to settlement means finalizing the sale of the home.




Who should I contact if I have questions?


First, take a look at the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page. If you still have questions, please reach out to the Department of Housing and Community Development at (202) 442-7200, Monday to Friday, 8:15 am - 4:45 pm. Or, you can email the department at dhcd@dc.gov using the subject line, “TOPA.”




I still need help preparing to buy a home. What should I do?


You can find information about other resources that might help on our prepare to buy a home resources page.




Frequently Asked Questions


Does the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act apply to rentals in multi-unit buildings? Yes; however the process and timeline for navigating a purchase are different than a single-family home. The Office of the Tenant Advocate can provide guidance. I want more details about the property before I decide how to move forward. How do I get these? You may request additional information for the previous two years from your landlord once you receive the Notice of Intent to Sell. To ensure that your application form deadlines are met, your landlord must provide you with the requested information within seven days of your request. What if I don’t want to buy the home I rent? If you receive a notice that your landlord intends to sell, you can of course waive your rights to buy the home if you are not interested or unable to buy. You simply need to indicate on the form provided by your landlord that you are not interested in buying. What do I do if my landlord did not provide me with a Notice of Intent to Sell? You should contact the Department of Housing and Community Development at (202) 442-7200, Monday to Friday, 8:15 am - 4:45 pm. Or, you can email the department at dhcd.casd@dc.gov using the subject line, “TOPA.”




Do all eligible applicants get to purchase their home from their landlord?


No. The purchase of the home depends on the tenant and landlord negotiations.





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Keywords: tenants, renters, rent, renting, homebuying, single-family home, landlord is selling my home, buy property, purchase property

 

This page was last updated April 2021.