Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–1902.30. Transfer of special declarant rights.

(a) A special declarant right created or reserved under this chapter may not be transferred except by an instrument that evidences the transfer recorded in the same manner as the condominium instruments. The instrument shall not be effective unless executed by the transferee.

(b) Upon transfer of any special declarant right, the liability of a transferor declarant shall be as follows:

(1) A transferor shall not be relieved of any obligation or liability that arises before the transfer and shall remain liable for any warranty obligation imposed upon him or her by this chapter. Lack of privity shall not deprive any unit owner of standing to maintain an action to enforce any obligation of the transferor.

(2) If a successor to a special declarant right is an affiliate of a declarant, the transferor shall be jointly and severally liable with the successor for any obligation or liability of the successor that relates to the condominium.

(3) If a transferor retains a special declarant right, and transfers other special declarant rights to a successor who is not an affiliate of the declarant, the transferor shall be liable for any obligation or liability imposed on a declarant by this chapter or by the condominium instruments that relates to the retained special declarant rights and that arises after the transfer.

(4) A transferor shall have no liability for any act or omission or any breach of a contractual or warranty obligation that arises from the exercise of a special declarant right by a successor declarant who is not an affiliate of the transferor.

(c) Unless otherwise provided in a mortgage instrument or deed of trust, in case of foreclosure, mortgage, tax sale, judicial sale, sale by a trustee under a deed of trust, or sale under bankruptcy or receivership proceedings of any unit owned by a declarant or real estate in a condominium subject to development rights, a person who acquires title to all the real estate being foreclosed or sold, upon his or her request, shall succeed to all special declarant rights related to the real estate held by the declarant, or to any rights reserved in the condominium instruments pursuant to § 42-1902.22 and held by the declarant to maintain models, sales offices, and signs. The judgment or instrument that conveys title shall provide for transfer of only the special declarant rights requested. For purposes of this subsection, the term “development rights” means any right or combination of rights to expand an expandable condominium, contract a contractable condominium, convert convertible land, or convert convertible space.

(d) Upon foreclosure, tax sale, judicial sale, sale by a trustee under a deed of trust, or sale under bankruptcy or receivership proceedings of all units and other real estate in a condominium owned by a declarant:

(1) The declarant shall cease to have any special declarant rights; and

(2) The period of declarant control shall terminate unless the judgment or instrument that conveys title provides for transfer of all special declarant rights held by the declarant to a successor declarant.

(e) The liability or obligation of a person who succeeds to special declarant rights shall be as follows:

(1) A successor to any special declarant right who is an affiliate of a declarant shall be subject to any obligation or liability imposed on the transferor by this chapter or the condominium instruments.

(2) A successor to any special declarant right, other than a successor described in paragraph (3) or (4) of this subsection, who is not an affiliate of a declarant, shall be subject to any obligation or liability imposed by this chapter or the condominium instruments:

(A) On a declarant that relates to his or her exercise or nonexercise of special declarant rights; or

(B) On his or her transferor, other than:

(i) A misrepresentation by a previous declarant;

(ii) A warranty obligation on improvements made by a previous declarant or made before the condominium was created;

(iii) A breach of a fiduciary obligation by a previous declarant or his or her appointee to the executive board; or

(iv) Any liability or obligation imposed on the transferor’s acts or omissions after the transfer.

(3) A successor who is not an affiliate of a declarant and whose sole right is a reservation in the condominium instruments to maintain models, sales offices, and signs may not exercise any other special declarant right and shall not be subject to any liability or obligation as a declarant, except a liability or obligation that arises under subchapter IV of this chapter that relates to disposition by the successor.

(4) If the transferor is not an affiliate of the successor to special declarant rights and the successor succeeded to all the special declarant rights pursuant to a deed in lieu of foreclosure or a judgment or instrument that conveys title to units under subsection (c) of this section, the successor may declare his or her intention in a recorded instrument to hold the rights solely for transfer to another person. Until the successor transfers all special declarant rights to any person who acquires title to any unit owned by the successor, or until the successor records an instrument that permits exercise of all special declarant rights, the successor may not exercise the special declarant rights other than a right held by his or her transferor to control the executive board in accordance with the provisions of § 42-1903.02 for the duration of any period of declarant control. Any attempted exercise of special declarant rights other than a right held by the successor’s transferor to control the executive board shall be void. For the period that a successor declarant may not exercise special declarant rights under this subsection, he or she shall not be subject to any liability or obligation as a declarant other than liability or obligation as a declarant for his or her acts or omissions under § 42-1903.02.

(f) Nothing in this section shall subject any successor to a special declarant right to any claim against or other obligation of a transferor declarant, other than a claim or obligation that arises under this chapter or the condominium instruments.


(Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-89, title II, § 230; as added Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-233, § 2(u), 38 DCR 261; Mar. 20, 1992, D.C. Law 9-82, § 2(i), 39 DCR 683.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-1839.1.

Temporary Legislation

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