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DC TOPA for 2-4 Unit Properties

DC TOPA for 2-4 Unit Properties is one the most confusing topics that we get asked repeatedly.  Here is an attempt to help simplify the process.

To determine whether the housing accommodation is 2 to 4 rental units, all rental units in the housing accommodation are counted. The occupied rental units as well as vacant rental units must be included in the total number of rental units for the housing accommodation.

The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) is a law which requires an owner who wants to sell his or her rental property to give tenants an opportunity to purchase the accommodation and a right of first refusal to match a third-party contract.

Before selling the rental property, the owner must provide the tenant with an Offer of Sale, regardless of whether a third-party contract is already in place.

Below are a few steps for the 2-4 Unit TOPA process.


The owner must deliver an Offer of Sale to each tenant/occupant via trackable delivery service.

  • WITH A CONTRACT: If a third party contract is in place, the owner must deliver Form A (Offer of Sale with a Contract) to the tenants and DHCD. The owner is required to provide a copy of the contract within 7 days of the tenant’s request.


  • WITHOUT A CONTRACT: the owner must deliver Form B (Offer of Sale without a Contract) and Form C (Right of First Refusal)to the tenants and DHCD.  The contract is attached to Form C once a contract is ratified.


  • Photo of Form A or Form B and C, as applicable, posted in conspicuous area of the common area of the building

We will need copies of the notices that were sent to tenant, along with the certified mailings for our review.  A copy must also be sent to DHCD at the address below.  Once delivery has been made, move to step 2.

Rental Conversion and Sale Division
DC Department of Housing Community Dev.                                          

1800 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20020


  • To confirm that no TOPA rights have been exercised, obtain the signatures of each tenant on the TOPA AFFIDAVIT (GCAAR 1316 Waiver) and provide us with a copy. Note that delivery in Step 1 must be confirmed before the tenant signs the affidavit.


  • Provide an Assignment Agreement signed by each tenant. (Federal Title can assist)
    • TOPA rights can be assigned with or without a contract – there must be consideration of at least $500 and this consideration can be in the form of cash, forgiven rent, waiver of rent, moving expenses, etc.  Please note that NOTICE via FORM A or FORM B MUST BE SENT VIA CERTIFIED MAIL TO MEET THE STATUTORY GUIDELINES AND TRIGGER THE RIGHTS SO THEY ARE ASSIGNABLE.   Hence, the tenant should not sign the Assignment before delivery of the notice.  Form C will not be necessary, as the rights of first refusal will be assigned at the same time as the rights to purchase.   Once the Assignment is fully executed, settlement can happen immediately – no waiting period.

Once our office receives the required TOPA paperwork, we will order a Review of File letter from DHCD to confirm no TOPA rights were exercised.

For a useful Roadmap to DC TOPA for 2-4 Unit Properties, visit the Steps to Assert TOPA Rights here: ROADMAP TO 2-4 UNIT ACCOMMODATIONS 

agents, sellers, tenant rights, Tips or Advice, TOPA, washington dc