Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3402.11. Retroactive conversion.

With respect to conversions of housing accommodations by owners or contract purchasers who received a notice of filing or filed articles of incorporation as a housing cooperative prior to August 10, 1980 (the effective date of the Rental Housing Conversion and Sale Emergency Act of 1980 (D.C. Act 3-248)), or prior to the effective date of this chapter [September 10, 1980], the following provisions shall apply:

(1) Definitions. — For the purposes of this section, unless the subject matter requires otherwise, the term:

(A) “Association” means a group enterprise legally incorporated under the District of Columbia Cooperative Association Act, or a cooperative corporation incorporated pursuant to the laws of another jurisdiction.

(B) “Comparable rental units” means rental units of corresponding facilities with the same or similar benefits or services included in the price of the rent.

(C) “Declarant” shall mean a person(s), association(s), or group(s) who:

(i) In the case of a housing cooperative, obtained an exemption pursuant to § 4 of the Cooperative Regulation Act of 1979 and filed articles of incorporation prior to August 10, 1980; or

(ii) In the case of a condominium conversion, received a notice of filing pursuant to § 42-1904.06.

(D) “Eligible recipient” means the head of household in which the household has a combined annual income totaling less than the following percentages of the median annual family income (for a household of 4 persons) for the District of Columbia, as such median is determined by the United States Bureau of Census and adjusted yearly by historic trends of that median, and as may be further adjusted by an interim census of District of Columbia incomes collected under contract by local or regional government agencies:

one-person household 50%
two-person household 60%
three-person household or a 1- or 2-person household containing
any person who is 60 years of age or older or who has a disability
as defined by the Mayor
90%
four-person household 100%
five-person household 110%
more than 5-person household 120%

(E) “Family” means a group of persons related by blood or marriage.

(F) “Head of household” means an individual who maintains the affected rental unit as his or her principal place of abode, is a bona fide resident and domiciliary of the District of Columbia, and contributes more than one-half the cost of maintaining such rental unit. An individual may be considered a head of household without regard as to whether such individual would qualify as a head of household for the purposes of any other law.

(G) “High rent housing accommodation” means any housing accommodation in the District of Columbia for which the total monthly rent exceeds an amount computed for such housing accommodation as follows:

(i) Multiply the number of rental units in the following categories by the corresponding rents established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the District of Columbia as the current fair market rents for existing housing under § 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program for Elevator or Non-Elevator (as appropriate) Buildings: (1) efficiency rental units; (2) 1 bedroom rental units; (3) 2 bedroom rental units; (4) 3 bedroom rental units; (5) 4 or more bedroom rental units; so that the rates are not lower than $267 for 1 bedroom, $314 for 2 bedroom, $408 for a 3 or more bedroom, and $221 for efficiency rental units;

(ii) Total the results obtained in sub-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph; and

(iii) Increase the result obtained in sub-subparagraph (ii) of this subparagraph by the maximum percentage of any upward rent adjustments found to be warranted by the District of Columbia Rental Accommodations Commission pursuant to § 206 of the Rental Housing Act of 1977.

(H) “Housing accommodation” means any structure or building in the District of Columbia containing 1 or more rental units, and the land appurtenant thereto. Such term shall not include any hotel, motel, or other structure, including any room therein, used primarily for transient occupancy, and in which at least 60% of the rooms devoted to living quarters for tenants or guests are used for transient occupancy; any rental unit in an establishment which has as its primary purpose the providing of diagnostic care and treatment of diseases, including, but not limited to, hospitals, convalescent homes, nursing homes, and personal care homes; or any dormitory of an institute of higher education, or a private boarding school, in which rooms are provided for students.

(I) “Housing expense” means the amount of rent attributable to a rental unit plus the cost of gas, electricity, water, and sewer services if not included in the rent and if paid by the occupant of such rental unit, but shall exclude any security deposit.

(J) “Housing project” means a group of housing accommodations which are managed as a single business entity.

(K) “Suitable size” means for a 1 person family, an efficiency rental unit; for a 2 person family, a 1 bedroom rental unit; for a family of 3 or 4 persons, a 2 bedroom rental unit; for a family of 5 or 6 persons, a 3 bedroom rental unit; and for a family of 7 or more persons, a 4 bedroom rental unit; except, that adjustments shall be made to allow children and unmarried adults of the opposite sex, to have separate sleeping rooms. In determining suitable size for a comparable rental unit, 1 person living in a 1 bedroom rental unit before relocation as a result of cooperative conversion shall be eligible for assistance at the level of a 1 bedroom comparable rental unit.

(L) “Total monthly rent” shall include the rents asked for vacant units.

(2) Eligibility for housing assistance and relocation compensation. —

(A) In addition to all other requirements of this section, and to all other applicable provisions of law, each declarant of a conversion cooperative shall pay housing assistance, in an amount calculated according to paragraph (3) of this section, to any eligible recipient who:

(i) Makes application for such assistance;

(ii) Has been living, for at least 1 year immediately prior to the first day of the month in which the application for registration relating to such conversion is filed, in the rental unit from which he or she is being displaced;

(iii) Is displaced from a rental unit because such rental unit is being converted to a cooperative by the declarant; and

(iv) Relocates in the District of Columbia. Such housing assistance shall be paid in 1 lump sum payment, within 30 days after the date the declarant receives notification pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (5) of this section, to the eligible recipient or the Mayor, as appropriate. Beginning with the 25th month occurring immediately after the month in which such eligible recipient relocated, and for the immediately succeeding 35 months thereafter, housing assistance payments to such recipient shall be made by the Mayor if, as of the first day of the 25th month occurring after his or her relocation, the recipient is eligible for such payment. In lieu of monthly payments, the Mayor may make a lump sum payment to an eligible recipient equal to the amount to which the recipient is entitled to receive under this section.

(B) In addition to all other requirements of this section, and to all other applicable provisions of law, each declarant shall pay relocation compensation to an eligible recipient in each rental unit in the building converted if such rental unit is occupied primarily for residential purposes on the date the occupant received the 120-day notice of declarant’s intention to convert as required by § 603 of the Rental Housing Act of 1977. Such relocation compensation shall be calculated according to the provisions of subparagraph (D) of paragraph (4) of this section.

(C) No part of any housing assistance payment or any relocation compensation made under this section shall be considered income to the eligible recipient for the purposes of Chapter 18 of Title 47. Any such housing assistance payment or any relocation compensation made to any person or family entitled to receive any other payment from the District of Columbia government related to paying the costs of housing or shelter shall be in addition to and shall not affect the amount of or entitlement to such other payment.

(3) Calculation of housing assistance. —

(A) The amount of each housing assistance payment to be made under this section shall be calculated as follows:

(i) If the amount of an eligible recipient’s average monthly housing expense, during the 12 consecutive month period ending with the month preceding the month during which he or she relocated as a result of the rental unit being converted to a cooperative, is an amount which is less than 25% of the average net monthly family income computed for such period, then the amount of the monthly housing assistance payment to such eligible recipient shall be in an amount equal to the difference between an amount equal to 25% of such average net monthly family income and the amount of the monthly housing expense to be paid by the eligible recipient for the first full month after such relocation (excluding security deposit, if any).

(ii) If the amount of an eligible recipient’s average monthly housing expense, during such period, is an amount which is more than 25% of such average net monthly family income, then the amount of the monthly housing assistance payment shall be in an amount equal to the difference between such average monthly housing expense during such period and the amount of the monthly housing expense to be paid by the eligible recipient for the first full month after such relocation (excluding security deposit, if any).

(iii) To obtain the total housing assistance payment to be made by a declarant to any eligible recipient, multiply the figure obtained under either sub-subparagraph (i) or (ii) of this subparagraph, as appropriate, by 24. To obtain the total housing assistance payment to be made by the Mayor to any eligible recipient, multiply such appropriate figure by 36.

(B) The Mayor shall determine, from time to time and at least once every 12 months, the range of rents being charged in the District of Columbia by landlords of privately-owned housing accommodations for available 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom or more, and efficiency rental units. The Mayor shall publish his or her preliminary range of rents in the District of Columbia Register and, within 30 days after publication shall hold hearings on that preliminary range. Based on the record of those hearings, the Mayor shall certify a final range of rents to be used for the purposes of this section. The figure obtained under either sub-subparagraph (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, as appropriate, shall not exceed the difference between the highest rent in the range of rents of comparable rental units of suitable size, as determined by the Mayor at the time the housing assistance payment is made to such eligible recipient, and the amount of the eligible recipient’s average monthly housing expense for the 12-month period referred to in sub-subparagraph (i) of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

(4) Calculation of relocation compensation. —

(A) The amount of relocation compensation payable shall be calculated as follows:

(i) Relocation compensation in the amount of $125 for each room in the apartment unit shall be payable to the tenants if the tenants are occupying the apartment unit, or, if the tenants are not occupying the apartment unit, to the tenants or subtenants bearing the cost of removing the majority of the furnishings. For the purpose of the preceding sentence, a “room” in an apartment unit shall mean any space 60 square feet or larger which has a fixed ceiling and floor and is subdivided with fixed partitions on all sides, but shall not mean bathrooms, balconies, closets, pantries, kitchens, foyers, hallways, storage areas, utility rooms, or the like.

(ii) The Mayor shall adjust the amounts to be paid as relocation compensation from time to time solely to reflect changes in the cost of moving within the Washington metropolitan area. Such adjustments shall be made no more than once in any calendar year and shall be made only after prior notice and hearing.

(B) After notification of the Mayor’s determination pursuant to paragraph (5)(B) of this section, the declarant shall pay relocation compensation as follows:

(i) If the declarant has received at least 10 days advance written notice of the date upon which the apartment unit is to be vacated, the payment shall be paid no later than 24 hours prior to the date the apartment unit is to be vacated; or

(ii) If no such notice has been received, then payment shall be made within 30 days after the apartment unit is vacated.

(C) If there is more than 1 person entitled to relocation compensation with respect to an apartment unit, each such person shall be entitled to share equally in the amount of relocation compensation.

(D) In any case in which there is a question as to whether relocation compensation shall be paid for an apartment unit, or to whom, or the proper amount of such compensation, the declarant shall pay to the Mayor the amount indicated in the notice issued pursuant to paragraph (5)(B) of this section for such apartment unit and shall thereby be relieved of any further obligation under this section with respect to such apartment unit. The Mayor shall hold such payment and shall determine, after investigation, whether relocation compensation is payable with respect to the apartment unit, the amount of relocation compensation payable, if any, and the person or persons, if any, entitled thereto. The Mayor shall refund any remainder of such payment to the declarant.

(E) Payment or relocation compensation shall not be required with respect to any apartment unit which is the subject of an outstanding judgment for possession obtained by the declarant or declarant’s predecessor in interest against the tenants or subtenants for a cause of action whether such cause of action arises before or after the service of the notice of conversion. If, however, the judgment for possession is based on nonpayment and arises after the notice of conversion has been given, then relocation compensation shall be required in an amount reduced by the amount determined to be due and owing to the declarant by the court rendering the judgment for possession.

(5) Application for housing assistance and relocation compensation. —

(A) Each declarant, at the same time he or she sends tenants the 120-day notice required under § 603 of the Rental Housing Act of 1977, shall send to each tenant the application forms (with instructions) provided by the Mayor for making application for housing assistance and relocation compensation payable under the provisions of this section. Each applicant for such housing assistance or relocation compensation shall give to the Mayor reasonable information as may be required in order to determine an applicant’s eligibility. All information provided to the Mayor under this paragraph shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person except to parties and their attorneys, officials, and employees conducting proceedings under this section.

(B) If the information provided by an applicant on the form filed with the Mayor indicates on its face that such applicant is eligible for relocation compensation payable under paragraph (2)(B) of this section, then such applicant shall be presumed to be an eligible recipient. Within 15 working days from receipt of the completed application, the Mayor shall notify the appropriate declarant of the amount of payment due, to whom it shall be paid, and the address at which such payment should be delivered. Each declarant shall make each relocation compensation payment in a lump sum payment equal to the total amount of the payment for which he or she is liable to that eligible recipient. The payment of relocation compensation is subject to review pursuant to paragraph (4)(D) of this section.

(C)(i) If the information provided by an applicant on the form filed with the Mayor indicates on its face that such applicant is eligible for housing assistance payable under paragraph (2)(A) of this section, then such applicant shall be presumed to be an eligible recipient. The Mayor shall notify the appropriate declarant of the amount of housing assistance payment due, to whom it shall be paid, and the address at which such payment should be delivered.

(ii) In the event that a declarant believes either that the recipient is not an eligible recipient, or has not met the requirements of paragraph (2)(A) of this section, or that the payment to that recipient should be lower than the amount indicated by the Mayor for housing assistance payments, the declarant may seek review of the eligibility of the recipient, the recipient’s eligibility under paragraph (2)(A) of this section, and the amount of such payment by: (1) Making the payment indicated to the Mayor; and (2) filing a notice of appeal and request for a hearing with the Mayor within 10 days after making such payment. The Mayor shall conduct such requested hearing as soon as possible after such request is made. Based on the record of the hearing, the Mayor shall determine whether the recipient is actually eligible for the payment as indicated in the Mayor’s notice, or whether the amount of the payment is correct, as appropriate. In the event the Mayor determines that the recipient is not eligible, or that the amount of the payment made should be reduced, the Mayor shall issue an order to that effect, and shall refund to the declarant such excess monies, as is appropriate.

(D) The Mayor may review bi-annually, or earlier upon request by a declarant, both the continued eligibility of a recipient for housing assistance and the amount of such payments.

(6) Payments of housing assistance. — The Mayor may enter into contracts with any bank or other financial institution in the District of Columbia providing that such bank or other financial institution shall make the monthly payments of housing assistance for which the District of Columbia is liable (if the Mayor elects not to make a lump sum payment) from sums of money deposited in such bank or financial institution by the Mayor for that purpose.

(7) Tax exemption. —

(A) In addition to all other requirements of this section, and to all other applicable provisions of law, each declarant of a conversion condominium shall pay housing assistance, in an amount calculated according to paragraph (3) of this section, to any eligible recipient who:

(i) Makes application for such assistance;

(ii) Has been living, for at least 1 year immediately prior to the first day of the month in which the application for registration relating to such conversion is filed, in the rental unit from which he or she is being displaced;

(iii) Is displaced from a rental unit because such rental unit is being converted to a condominium by the declarant; and

(iv) Relocates in the District of Columbia.

Such housing assistance shall be paid in 1 lump sum payment within 30 days after the date such recipient relocates. Beginning with the 25th month occurring immediately after the month in which such recipient relocated, and for the immediately succeeding 35 months thereafter, housing assistance payments to such recipient shall be made by the Mayor if, as of the first day of the 25th month occurring after his or her relocation, the recipient is eligible for such payment. In lieu of monthly payments, the Mayor may make a lump sum payment to an eligible recipient equal to the amount to which he or she is entitled to receive under this section.

(B) In addition to all other requirements of this section, and to all other applicable provisions of law, each declarant of a conversion condominium shall pay relocation compensation to any eligible recipient in each rental unit in the building converted if such rental unit is occupied primarily for residential purposes on the date the notice required by § 42-1904.03 is given. Such relocation assistance shall be calculated according to the provisions of paragraph (9) of this section.

(C) No part of any housing assistance payment or any relocation compensation made under this section shall be considered income to the recipient for the purposes of Chapter 18 of Title 47. Any such housing assistance payment or any relocation compensation made to any person or family entitled to receive any other payment from the District of Columbia government related to paying the costs of housing or shelter shall be in addition to and shall not affect the amount of or entitlement to such other payment.

(8) Computation of housing assistance. —

(A) The amount of each housing assistance payment to be made under this section shall be calculated as follows:

(i) If the amount of an applicant’s average monthly housing expense, during the 12 consecutive month period ending with the month preceding the month during which he or she relocated as a result of his or her rental unit being converted to a condominium, is an amount which is less than 25% of the average net monthly family income, computed for such period, then the amount of the monthly housing assistance payment to such applicant shall be in an amount equal to the difference between an amount equal to 25% of such average net monthly family income and the amount of the monthly housing expense to be paid by the applicant for the first full month after such relocation (excluding security deposit, if any).

(ii) If the amount of a recipient’s average monthly housing expense, during such period, is an amount which is more than 25% of such average net monthly family income, then the amount of the monthly housing assistance payment payable to such applicant shall be an amount equal to the difference between such average monthly housing expense during such period and the amount of the monthly housing expense to be paid by the applicant for the first full month after such relocation (excluding security deposit, if any).

(iii) To obtain the total housing assistance payment to be made by a declarant to any eligible recipient, multiply the figure obtained under either sub-subparagraph (i) or (ii) of this subparagraph, as appropriate, by 24. To obtain the total housing assistance payment to be made by the Mayor to any eligible recipient, multiply such appropriate figure by 36.

(B) The Mayor shall determine, from time to time and at least once every 12 months, the range of rents being charged in the District of Columbia by landlords of privately owned housing accommodations for generally available 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom or more, and efficiency rental units. The Mayor shall publish his or her preliminary range of rents in the District of Columbia Register and during the next immediately occurring 30 days hold hearings on that preliminary range. Based on the record of those hearings, the Mayor shall certify a final range of rents to be used for the purposes of this section. The figure obtained under either sub-subparagraph (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, as appropriate, shall not exceed the difference between the highest rent in the range of rents of comparable rental units of suitable size, as determined by the Mayor at the time of the housing assistance payment is made to such recipient, and the amount of the recipient’s average monthly housing expense for the 12-month period referred to in sub-subparagraph (i) of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

(9) Computation of relocation compensation. —

(A) The amount of relocation compensation payable shall be calculated as follows:

(i) Relocation compensation in the amount of $125 for each room in the apartment unit shall be payable to the tenants if the tenants are occupying the apartment unit or if the tenants are not occupying the apartment unit, to the tenants or subtenants bearing the cost of removing the majority of the furnishings. For the purposes of the preceding sentence, a “room” in an apartment unit shall mean any space 60 square feet or larger which has a fixed ceiling and floor and is subdivided with partitions on all sides, but shall not mean bathrooms, balconies, closets, pantries, kitchens, foyers, hallways, storage areas, utility rooms, or the like.

(ii) The Mayor shall adjust the amounts to be paid as relocation compensation from time to time solely to reflect changes in the cost of moving within the Washington metropolitan area. Such adjustment shall be made no more than once in any calendar year and shall be made only after prior notice and hearing.

(B) Relocation compensation shall be paid no later than 24 hours prior to the date the apartment unit is to be vacated by the tenants or subtenants if the declarant has received at least 10 days advance written notice of the date upon which the apartment unit is to be vacated. If no such notice has been received, then relocation compensation shall be paid within 30 days after the apartment unit is vacated.

(C) If there is more than 1 person entitled to relocation compensation with respect to an apartment unit, each such person entitled to relocation compensation shall be entitled to share equally in the amount of relocation compensation. In any case in which there is a dispute as to whether relocation compensation shall be paid for an apartment unit, or the proper amount of such compensation or the persons entitled to such compensation, the declarant may pay to the Mayor the maximum possible relocation compensation allowable for such apartment unit and shall thereby be relieved of any further obligation under this subparagraph with respect to such apartment unit. The Mayor shall hold such payment and shall determine whether relocation compensation is payable with respect to the apartment unit, the amount of relocation compensation payable, if any, and the person or persons entitled thereto. The Mayor shall refund any remainder of such payment to the declarant.

(D) Payment of relocation compensation shall not be required with respect to any apartment unit which is the subject of an outstanding judgment for possession obtained by the declarant or declarant’s predecessor in interest against the tenants or subtenants for a cause of action, whether such cause of action arises before or after the service of the notice of conversion. If, however, the judgment for possession is based on nonpayment and arises after the notice of conversion has been given, then relocation compensation shall be required in an amount reduced by the amount determined to be due and owing to declarant by the court rendering the judgment for possession.

(10) Notification of eligibility; review of eligibility determinations. —

(A) Each declarant of a conversion condominium, in addition to and at the same time that he or she sends tenants in the building to be converted the notices required under § 42-1904.08(b), shall send to each such tenant the necessary application forms (with instructions), provided by the Mayor, for making application for the housing assistance payments and relocation compensation payable under the provisions of this section. Each applicant for such assistance or compensation shall give to the Mayor such reasonable information as he or she may require in order to determine whether such applicant is eligible for the payments for which he or she applied. All information provided to the Mayor under this section shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person or governmental or private entity in such a manner as to identify the applicant to whom the information relates.

(B) If the information provided by an applicant on the form filed with the Mayor indicates that such applicant is eligible for the relocation compensation payable under paragraph (7)(B) of this section, then such applicant shall be presumed to be an eligible recipient and the Mayor shall notify the appropriate declarant of the amount of payment due, to whom it shall be paid, and the address at which such payment should be delivered. Each declarant shall make each relocation compensation payment in a lump sum payment equal to the total amount of the payment for which he or she is liable to that recipient.

(C) In the event that a declarant believes that either the recipient is not an eligible recipient, or that the payment to that recipient should be lower than the amount indicated by the Mayor, for either housing assistance payments or for relocation compensation, he or she may seek review of both the eligibility and amount of payment by: (i) Making the payment as indicated by the Mayor; and (ii) filing a notice of appeal and request for a hearing with the Mayor within 10 days after making such payment. The Mayor shall conduct such requested hearing as soon as possible after such request is made. Based on the record of the hearing held as requested by a declarant, the Mayor shall determine whether the recipient is actually eligible for the payment received, or whether the amount of such payment is correct, as appropriate. In the event the Mayor determines that the recipient is not eligible, or that the amount of the payment made should be reduced, he or she shall issue an order to that effect, requiring the recipient to return to the declarant any payment received to which he or she was not entitled.

(D) The eligibility of a recipient for housing assistance payments shall be reviewed by the Mayor bi-annually.

(11) Deposit in and payment of banks of District of Columbia housing assistance payments. — The Mayor may enter into contracts with any bank or other financial institution in the District of Columbia providing that such bank or other financial institution shall make the monthly payments of housing assistance for which the District of Columbia is liable (if the Mayor elects not to make a lump sum payment) from sums of money deposited in such bank or financial institution by the Mayor for that purpose.


(Sept. 10, 1980, D.C. Law 3-86, § 211(b); as added Aug. 1, 1981, D.C. Law 4-27, § 2(b), 28 DCR 2824; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 66, 53 DCR 6198.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-1619.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in par. (1)(D), substituted “has a disability” for “is handicapped”.

References in Text

The “Cooperative Regulation Act of 1979,” referred to in paragraph (1)(C)(i), is D.C. Law 3-19.

The “Rental Housing Act of 1977,” referred to in paragraphs (1)(G)(iii) and (5)(A), is D.C. Law 2-54, which had formerly been codified as Chapter 16 of this title, and which was subsequently superseded by the Rental Housing Act of 1980, D.C. Law 3-131. See also § 42-3401.03(15).

The phrase “the effective date of this chapter” which appears in the introductory language of this section, probably refers to the effective date of D.C. Law 3-86, which was September 10, 1980.