Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–1902.28. Termination of condominium.

(a) If there is no unit owner other than the declarant, the declarant may unilaterally terminate the condominium. A termination shall become effective upon recordation if the termination has been executed by the declarant and recorded in the Office of the Surveyor. 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.

(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 may be terminated by the agreement of unit owners of units to which 4/5 of the votes in the unit owners’ association pertain, or any larger majority as the condominium instruments may specify. 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.

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(c) An agreement to terminate a condominium shall be evidenced by the execution of a termination agreement or ratification in the same manner as a deed by the requisite number of unit owners. Unless the termination agreement otherwise provides, prior to recordation of the termination agreement, a unit owner’s prior agreement to terminate the condominium may be revoked only with the approval of unit owners of units to which a majority of the votes in the unit owners’ association pertain. The termination agreement shall specify a date after which the termination agreement shall be void if the termination agreement is not recorded. A termination agreement and any ratification of the termination agreement shall be effective only upon recordation in the Office of the Surveyor.

(d) In the case of a condominium that contains only units having horizontal boundaries described in the condominium instruments, a termination agreement may provide that all the common elements and units of the condominium shall be sold following termination. If, pursuant to the agreement, any real estate in the condominium shall be sold following termination, the termination agreement shall set forth the minimum terms of the sale.

(e) In the case of a condominium that contains any units not having horizontal boundaries described in the condominium instruments, a termination agreement may provide for sale of the common elements. The termination agreement may not require that the units be sold following termination, unless the condominium instruments as originally recorded provide otherwise or all the unit owners consent to the sale.

(f) On behalf of the unit owners, the unit owners’ association may contract for the disposition of real estate in the condominium, but the contract shall not be binding on the unit owners until approved pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section. If any real estate in the condominium shall be sold following termination, title to the real estate, upon termination, shall vest in the unit owners’ association as trustee for the holders of all interests in the units. Thereafter, the unit owners’ association shall have powers necessary and appropriate to effect the sale. Until the sale has been concluded and the proceeds have been distributed, the unit owners’ association shall continue in existence with all the powers the unit owners’ association had before termination. Proceeds of the sale shall be distributed to unit owners and lienholders as their interests may appear, in proportion to the respective interests of unit owners as provided in subsection (i) of this section. Unless otherwise specified in the termination agreement, for as long as the unit owners’ association holds title to the real estate, each unit owner or his or her successor in interest shall have an exclusive right to occupancy of the portion of the real estate that formerly constituted his or her unit. During the period of occupancy by the unit owner or his or her successor in interest, each unit owner or his successor in interest shall remain liable for any assessment or other obligation imposed on the unit owner by this chapter or the condominium instruments.

(g) If the real estate that constitutes the condominium shall not be sold following termination, title to the common elements and, in the case of a condominium containing only units that have horizontal boundaries described in the condominium instruments, title to all the real estate in the condominium shall vest in the unit owners upon termination as tenants in common in proportion to the unit owners’ respective interests as provided in subsection (i) of this section. Any liens on the units shall shift accordingly. While the tenancy in common exists, each unit owner or his or her successors in interest shall have an exclusive right to occupancy of the portion of the real estate that formerly constituted the unit owner’s unit.

(h) Following termination of the condominium, the proceeds of any sale of real estate, together with the assets of the unit owners’ association, shall be held by the unit owners’ association as trustee for unit owners or lienholders on the units as their interests may appear. Following termination, any creditor of the unit owners’ association who holds a lien on the unit that was recorded before termination may enforce the lien in the same manner as any lienholder. Any other creditor of the unit owners’ association shall be treated as if he or she had perfected a lien on the units immediately before termination.

(i) The respective interests of unit owners referred to in subsections (f), (g), and (h) of this section shall be as follows:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the respective interests of a unit owner shall be the fair market values of the unit owner’s limited common elements, and common element interests immediately before the termination, as determined by an independent appraiser selected by the unit owners’ association. The decision of the independent appraiser shall be distributed to the unit owners and become final unless disapproved within 30 days after distribution by unit owners of units to which 1/4 of the votes in the unit owners’ association. The proportion of any unit owner’s interest to the interest of all unit owners is determined by dividing the fair market value of the unit owner’s unit and common element interest by the total fair market values of all the units and common elements.

(2) If any unit or limited common element is destroyed to the extent that an appraisal of the fair market value before destruction cannot be made, the interests of all unit owners are the unit owners’ respective common element interests immediately before the termination.

(j) Except as provided in subsection (k) of this section, foreclosure or enforcement of a lien or encumbrance against the entire condominium shall not alone terminate the condominium, and foreclosure or enforcement of a lien or encumbrance against a portion of the condominium, other than withdrawable land, shall not withdraw the portion from the condominium. Foreclosure or enforcement of a lien or encumbrance against withdrawable land shall not alone withdraw the land from the condominium, but the person who takes title to the withdrawable land shall have the right to require from the unit owners’ association, upon request, an amendment that excludes the land from the condominium.

(k) If a lien or encumbrance against a portion of the real estate that comprises the condominium has priority over the condominium instruments, and the lien or encumbrance has not been partially released, upon foreclosure, the parties foreclosing the lien or encumbrance may record an instrument that excludes the real estate subject to the lien or encumbrance from the condominium.


(Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-89, title II, § 228, 23 DCR 9532b; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-233, § 2(t), 38 DCR 261; Mar. 20, 1992, D.C. Law 9-82, § 2(h), 39 DCR 683.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-1838.

1973 Ed., § 5-1238.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-1903.10.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(h) 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).