Category Archives: DC Laws

Emotional Support Animals and Dangerous Dogs in Cooperative Apartment and Condo Communities

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal (typically a dog or cat) that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. An ESA is not the same thing as a pet. Rather, for a resident of a co-op or condo who is living with a mental or psychiatric disability, an ESA may provide him... Read More >

Changes to Paid Leave Policy Go into Effect for District of Columbia Employers

Employers in Washington, D.C. have been waiting for the Universal Paid Leave Amendments Act of 2016 (the Act) to go into effect. Much to the chagrin of many small employers, that time is here. The Act creates a mandatory, employer-funded, paid leave program, which provides up to eight weeks of paid leave to covered employees working in the District of Columbia... Read More >

Revocable Trusts and Real Property in Washington

When thinking about transferring a Washington, D.C. real property into a revocable trust, there are several considerations to take into account. Beginning Steps: To ensure the transfer occurs properly, a deed has to be recorded. A transfer is usually exempt from transfer and recordation taxes, provided that the trust is revocable and that the grantor remains the beneficiary. Deductions: In most circumstances, the property... Read More >

Pending Emergency Legislation to Affect Tax Sales and Recordation Tax on Leases

The Washington, D.C. Council is considering B22-922: Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 which, among many provisions, contains a few changes of interest to real estate practitioners which are found here. Recordation Tax: On leases in excess of 30 years, the Washington, D.C. government may determine the fair market value of the leasehold interest... Read More >

D.C. Tax Rate Changes Effective October 1, 2018

The District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue has issued a notification of changes in various tax rates that will become effective on Monday, October 1, 2018. The real property tax for Class 2 properties will increase to $1.65 per $100 of value for properties worth less than $5,000,000; $1.77 from $5 million to $10 million; and $1.89 for... Read More >

Housing Licensing and TOPA in the District of Columbia

Recent changes to the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) in the District of Columbia have had broad repercussions in the single-family rental market. Since TOPA’s inception, the competing purposes of maintaining a rental market and encouraging tenants to leave the rental market and become homeowners have resulted in a structure that is difficult to follow and has... Read More >

Consider Carefully The New Certification Required Under The Revised DC FP7

The DC Recorder of Deeds announced today that it has revised the Real Property Recordation and Transfer Tax Form FP 7/C (herein “FP7C”).   The purpose of this revision was to “contain a self-certification of compliance with tax payment, per DC Code § 42-407(2).” That statute, reprinted below,... Read More >

DC: Proposed Laws Challenge the Airbnb Model

Vincent Orange, Councilmember of the D.C. Counsel has introduced two bills that would directly challenge the Airbnb business model. The “Short Term Rental Regulation and Housing Protection Amendment Act of 2015” would establish a Special Enforcement Division with DCRA to regulate the industry, monitor compliance by the housing providers and... Read More >

D.C. Court of Appeals: TOPA Extensions Must Be Defined To Preserve Tenant Rights

In an important new ruling construing the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act (“TOPA”), the D.C. Court of Appeals held on September 23, 2015, that extensions of the deadlines for a seller and a tenant association to negotiate a sales contract must be express and contain a definite end-date to... Read More >

U.S. Supreme Court: Same-Sex Marriage Is a Right

[caption id="attachment_315" align="alignright" width="150"] Photo Credit: US Rep. Mark Pocan Twitter[/caption] Coincidentally timed on the anniversary of the decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and U.S. v. Windsor, two prior gay-rights cases, Justice Kennedy announced the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the five-person majority held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all... Read More >

DC: Emergency Legislation on April 14– Pop-ups

[caption id="attachment_248" align="alignright" width="150"] Photo Credit: Stop The Pop DC[/caption] Pop-ups (upper-level expansions of DC row houses) have recently become the topic of discussions, particularly in light of some fairly ugly or disproportionate examples. The DC Council will hear emergency legislation absolutely and immediately banning pop-ups until... Read More >

DC Economic Interest Purchase Money-Recordation Tax

DC Expands Exemptions for Recordation Tax on D/T’s Association with Deeds of Economic Interest While it has long been the practice and law that deeds of trust filed simultaneously with the acquisition of real estate are exempt from recordation tax, the exemption was limited to interests in real estate. Since a Deed... Read More >