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How Does TOPA Impact Multifamily Properties?


Is your rental converting to condos? You may be interested in TOPA. A full house packed into Ballard Spahr's conference room this week to talk about trends and issues surrounding the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. TOPA requires that DC's residential tenants have the chance to purchase their rental unit before it is sold. The law, which has a significant impact on the purchase, sale and financing of multifamily properties in DC, was amended last year to impose additional requirements.

At the breakfast event, moderated by Ballard Spahr mixed-use development and condominiums team leader Roger Winston, panelists discussed the use and application of TOPA in DC, including tenant considerations, the developer's perspective and regulatory requirements.


An audience that included developers, lenders, investors, brokers, lawyers and the public sector heard from a panel with equally diverse perspectives (above):

  • Kettler president of multifamily development Asheel Shah spoke from the perspective of a seller and buyer of multifamily properties in DC;
  • Fidelity National Title Assistant Vice-President and Underwriting and Closing Counsel Elizabeth Ussery from the perspective of the title insurance companies that insure these transactions;
  • Housing Counseling Services Tenant Services Department's Jay Forth provided the perspective of tenants concerns and objectives during the TOPA process, and
  • DC Department of Housing and Community Development conversion and sale administrator Lauren Pair spoke as the administrator of the DC TOPA office.