Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–1902.02. Release of liens prior to conveyance of first unit; exemption; liens for labor or material applied to individual units or common areas; partial release.

(a) At the time of the conveyance to the first purchaser of each condominium unit following the recordation of the declaration, every mortgage, deed of trust, any other perfected lien, or any mechanics’ or materialmen’s liens, affecting all of the condominium or a greater portion thereof than the condominium unit conveyed, shall be paid and satisfied of record, or the declarant shall forthwith have the said condominium unit released of record from all such liens not so paid and satisfied. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply, however, to any withdrawable land in a contractable condominium, nor shall any provision of this subsection be construed to prohibit the unit owners’ association from mortgaging or causing a deed of trust to be placed on any portion of the condominium within which no units are located, so long as any time limit specified pursuant to § 42-1903.02(a) has expired, and so long as the bylaws authorize the same.

(b) No labor performed or materials furnished with the consent of or at the request of a unit owner or such unit owner’s agent or contractor or subcontractor shall be the basis for the filing of a lien pursuant to the provisions of § 40-301.01 against the property of any unit owner not expressly consenting to the same, except that such consent shall be deemed to be given by any unit owner in the case of emergency repairs to his unit. Labor performed or materials furnished for the common elements, if duly authorized by the unit owners’ association or its executive board subsequent to any period of developer control pursuant to § 42-1903.02(a), shall be deemed to be performed or furnished with the express consent of every unit owner and shall be the basis for the filing of a lien pursuant to the provisions of § 40-301.01 against all of the condominium units. Notice of such lien shall be served on the principal officer of the unit owners’ association or any member of the executive board.

(c) In the event that any lien, other than a deed of trust or mortgage, becomes effective against 2 or more condominium units subsequent to the creation of the condominium, any unit owner may remove such unit owner’s condominium unit from that lien by payment of the amount attributable to that condominium unit, or, in the case of any mechanic’s or materialman’s lien, by filing a written undertaking for such amount with surety approved by the court as provided in § 40-303.16. Such amount shall be computed by reference to the liability for common expenses appertaining to that condominium unit pursuant to § 42-1903.12(c). Subsequent to such payment, discharge or other satisfaction, or filing of bond, the unit owner of that condominium unit shall be entitled to have that lien released as to such unit owner’s condominium unit, and the unit owners’ association shall not assess, or have a valid lien against that condominium unit for any portion of the common expenses incurred in connection with that lien, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in §§ 42-1903.12 and 42-1903.13.


(Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-89, title II, § 202, 23 DCR 9532b; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-233, § 2(i), 38 DCR 261.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-1812.

1973 Ed., § 5-1212.