Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–1902.27. Amendment of instruments.

(a) If there is no unit owner other than the declarant, the declarant may unilaterally amend the condominium instruments, and the amendment shall become effective upon recordation if the amendment has been executed by the declarant. This section shall not be construed to nullify, limit, or otherwise affect the validity or enforceability of any agreement renouncing or to renounce, in whole or in part, the right conferred by this section.

(b) If any of the units in the condominium are restricted exclusively to residential use and there is any unit owner other than the declarant, the condominium instruments shall be amended only by agreement of unit owners of units to which 2/3 of the votes in the unit owners’ association pertain, or any larger majority that the condominium instruments may specify, except in cases for which this chapter provides different methods of amendment. If none of the units in the condominium is restricted exclusively to residential use, the condominium instruments may specify a majority smaller than the minimum specified in the preceding sentence.

(c) An action to challenge the validity of an amendment adopted by the unit owners’ association pursuant to this section may not be brought more than 1 year after the amendment is recorded.

(d) Any amendment to the condominium instruments required by this chapter to be recorded by the unit owners’ association shall be prepared, executed, recorded, and certified on behalf of the unit owners’ association by any officer designated for that purpose or, in the absence of designation, by the presiding officer of the executive board.

(e) Except to the extent expressly permitted or required by other provisions of this chapter, an amendment to the condominium instruments may not:

(1) Create or increase special declarant rights;

(2) Increase the number of units;

(3) Change the boundaries of any unit;

(4) Change the undivided interest in the common elements, the liability for common expenses, the right to surplus funds, or the number of votes in the unit owners’ association that pertains to any unit; or

(5) Change the uses to which any unit is restricted, in the absence of the unanimous consent of the unit owners.

(f)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, within 5 years after the recordation of a condominium instrument that contains or creates a mistake, inconsistency, error, or ambiguity, the declarant may unilaterally execute and record a corrective amendment or supplement to the condominium instruments to:

(A) Correct a mathematical mistake, an inconsistency, or a scrivener’s error; or

(B) Clarify an ambiguity in the condominium instruments with respect to an objectively verifiable fact, including without limitation recalculating the undivided interest in the common elements, the liability for common expenses or right to surplus funds, or the number of votes in the unit owners’ association that pertain to a unit.

(2) An amendment or supplement may not materially reduce what the obligations of the declarant would have been if the mistake, inconsistency, error, or ambiguity had not occurred. The principal officer of the unit owners’ association may unilaterally execute and record a corrective amendment or supplement upon a vote of 2/3 of the members of the executive board. Any corrective amendment or supplement shall be validated to the extent that the corrective amendment or supplement would have been permitted by this subsection.

(g)(1) Unless otherwise specified in the condominium instruments, if the condominium instruments contain a provision requiring action on the part of the holder of a mortgage or deed of trust on a unit to amend the condominium instruments, that provision shall be deemed satisfied if the procedures under this subsection are satisfied.

(2) If the condominium instruments contain a provision requiring action on the part of the holder of a mortgage or deed of trust on a residential unit to amend the condominium instruments, the unit owners’ association shall cause a copy of a proposed amendment to the condominium instruments to be delivered to the last known address of each holder of a mortgage or deed of trust entitled to notice. Absent notice of written instructions to the contrary, the association may reasonably rely upon the address of each holder as contained in the recorded mortgage or deed of trust.

(3) If the holder of a mortgage or deed of trust of a residential unit that receives the proposed amendment fails to object, in writing, to the proposed amendment within 60 days from the date the proposed amendment is mailed or delivered to the holder, the holder shall be deemed to have consented to the adoption of the amendment.

(4) The inadvertent failure to deliver a copy of any proposed amendment to the condominium instruments to each holder of a mortgage or deed of trust entitled to notice, despite good faith efforts by the unit owners’ association, shall not invalidate any action taken pursuant to this section.


(Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-89, title II, § 227, 23 DCR 9532b; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-233, § 2(s), 38 DCR 261; Mar. 20, 1992, D.C. Law 9-82, § 2(g), 39 DCR 683; June 21, 2014, D.C. Law 20-109, § 2(f), 61 DCR 4304.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-1837.

1973 Ed., § 5-1237.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-1902.10.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-109 added (g).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(g) of the Condominium Act of 1976 Technical and Clarifying Emergency Amendment Act of 1991 (D.C. Act 9-47, June 24, 1991, 38 DCR 4082).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(g) of Condominium Act of 1976 Technical and Clarifying Temporary Amendment Act of 1991 (D.C. Law 9-38, August 17, 1991, law notification 38 DCR 5805).