Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–1401. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, unless otherwise indicated:

(1) The term “basis” shall have the same meaning as does that term when determining gain or loss under Subtitle A, Chapter 1, subchapter O, part II of the Internal Revenue Code (§ 1 et seq. of Title 26, United States Code).

(2) The term “Charter” means title IV of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act [subchapter IV of Chapter 2 of Title 1].

(3) The term “Commission” means the Real Estate Commission of the District of Columbia as established in § 42-1739.

(4) The term “consideration” means the amount paid or required to be paid, or the value exchanged or required to be exchanged, by a transferee to acquire real property.

(5) The term “Council” means the Council of the District of Columbia established under § 1-204.01.

(6) The term “dealer in real property” and the term “dealer” means any person who transfers 3 or more real properties within a period of 30 months. The following transfers of real property (as defined by this subchapter) shall not be considered for the purpose of determining whether the transferor is a dealer:

(A) Transfers prior to the effective date;

(B) Transfers of a transferor’s principal residence (as defined by this subchapter);

(C) Transfers to or by a District of Columbia nonprofit organization which is organized and operated for the purpose of constructing, improving, or renovating real property; provided, that such organization is exempt from federal income taxation under § 501(a) (§ 501(a) of Title 26, United States Code) and is described in § 501(c)(3) (§ 501(c)(3) of Title 26, United States Code) of the Internal Revenue Code. Transfers by such organization must be made in furtherance of the organization’s exempt purpose;

(D) Transfers to or by the federal government or the government of the District of Columbia, their agencies and instrumentalities, and the first transfer after the transfer by said governments; provided, that said first transfer after the transfer by said governments is governed by laws and regulations pertaining to a housing or community development program administered by the District or federal government;

(E) Transfers in which the transferee neither gives nor is required to give any consideration in any form (including transfers by gift, deeds of correction, deeds which merely change tenancy, and deeds of trust); provided, that the basis of the property in the hands of the transferee shall be the same as it was in the hands of the transferor;

(F) Transfers where the property being transferred was received by the transferor without giving or being required to give any consideration in any form; provided, that the transferor shall prove by clear and convincing evidence, upon all the facts and circumstances, that the transfer in which the transferor received the property was not made for the purpose of excluding the instant transfer from consideration in determining if the transferor is a dealer (as defined by this subsection). It shall be presumed that the transfer in which the transferor received the property without consideration was made for the purpose of excluding the instant transfer from consideration in determining whether the transferor is a dealer. The regulations prescribed by the Mayor shall set forth the information which will be deemed sufficient to rebut said presumption;

(G) Transfers by devise, or as a result of intestate succession;

(H) Transfers where the property being transferred was received by the transferor by devise or as a result of intestate succession;

(I) Transfers executed by persons in their capacity as court-appointed receivers, referees, administrators, executors, conservators, guardians of the estates of minors, and committees of the estates of persons judicially determined to be mentally incompetent;

(J) The first transfer of property, the construction of which was completed after the effective date (as defined by this subchapter) regardless of when the construction began. The construction of property shall be considered complete at the time such construction is completed to the same extent required for the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, as that term is used in § 6-641.09. This subparagraph applies only to newly-constructed structures and not to rehabilitated structures;

(K) Foreclosure sales, and the first transfer thereafter if said first transfer is made by the mortgagee who instituted the foreclosure proceedings and purchased the property at the foreclosure sale, or obtained title directly from the defaulting party without a foreclosure sale; provided, that said mortgagee is licensed in the District of Columbia as a bank or other financial institution;

(L) Deeds of release of property where the property was security for a debt or other obligation; and

(M) Transfers by a transferor whose holding period (as defined by this subchapter) for the property being transferred was longer than 36 months.

(7) The term “deed recordation tax” means the tax imposed by § 42-1103.

(8) The term “deficiency” shall have the same meaning given to that term by § 47-1801.04(15).

(9) The term “effective date” means the date on which this chapter takes effect according to the provisions of § 1-206.02(c)(1).

(10) The term “equitable title” means a right in a party to have the legal title to a real property (or real property, solely for purposes of subchapter III of this chapter) transferred to such party. The term shall also include any right to receive equitable title by means of an option to purchase or otherwise.

(11) The term “gain” means the excess of the consideration received by a transferor over the transferor’s basis for the property (as defined by this subchapter) transferred.

(12) The term “fair market value” means the price at which a willing seller and a willing buyer will trade or the price which would in all probability have been arrived at between a willing seller and a willing buyer.

(13) The term “holding period” shall have the same meaning as does that term for purposes of § 1223 of the Internal Revenue Code (§ 1223 of Title 26, United States Code).

(14) The term “Internal Revenue Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (§ 1 et seq. of Title 26, United States Code) and any amendments thereto.

(15) The term “legal holiday” means any District of Columbia public holiday, including Saturday and Sunday, as designated by § 28-2701.

(16) The term “legal title” means complete and perfect title to real property (or real property, solely for purposes of subchapter III of this chapter) in the party to whom such title belongs so far as regards the apparent right of ownership and possession of the real property (or real property, solely for purposes of subchapter III of this chapter) but which carries no beneficial interest in the property, another person being equitably entitled thereto.

(17) The term “major appliances” shall include the following appliances if a transferor transfers such appliances when transferring real property: Refrigerator, cooking range, oven, dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash compactor, and washer and dryer.

(18) The term “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia established under § 1-204.21.

(19) The term “person” means any individual, firm, partnership, copartnership, joint venture, association, corporation (domestic or foreign), trust, trustee of any estate, or court-appointed receiver.

(20) The term “principal residence” shall have the same meaning as does that term for purposes of § 1034 of the Internal Revenue Code (§ 1034 [repealed] of Title 26, United States Code); except, that in determining whether a real property is the principal residence of a transferor, in addition to consideration of all the facts and circumstances as provided by § 1034 of the Internal Revenue Code (§ 1034 [repealed] of Title 26, United States Code), the property must have been the principal residence of the transferor for the 180-day period immediately preceding the transfer.

(21) The term “real covenant” means an agreement between 2 or more persons relating to a property, the terms of which shall be binding on any heir or assign of the promisor under the agreement and which shall be enforceable by the person holding legal title to said property.

(22) The term “real property” means improved as well as unimproved land in the District of Columbia.

(23) The term “residential real property” means improved real property in the District of Columbia which at any time during the 12 months immediately preceding its transfer contained not more than 4 dwelling units. The term “dwelling unit” shall have the same meaning as given to that term in the Zoning Regulations of the District of Columbia (11 DCMR § 199).

(24) The term “solicitation” means any act which would cause a person to come within the definition of solicitor of real property.

(25) The term “solicitor of real property” means a person who, without prior invitation from the holder of legal title to a real property, offers to purchase or expresses a desire to purchase such property, or in any other way attempts to persuade or induce such holder to sell or otherwise transfer such title.

(26) The term “tax,” “excise” or “excise tax” means the tax imposed by this chapter.

(27) The term “3rd party” means all persons who are not parties to a contract, agreement, or instrument of writing by which their interest in the thing conveyed is sought to be effected.

(28) The term “transfer” means a transaction by which real property (or real property, solely for purposes of subchapter III of this chapter), or any title or right to receive any title thereto, or any portion thereof, or any interest therein (except a proprietary lease and a rental lease, unless such rental lease includes an option or right to buy) is either directly or indirectly conveyed, vested, granted, devised, bargained, sold, exchanged or assigned by any document, instrument, writing, agreement, or by any means whatsoever.

(29) The term “transferee” means the person (or persons) to whom a transfer of real property (or real property, solely for purposes of subchapter III of this chapter [§ 47-1431 et seq.]) is made.

(30) The term “transferor” means the person (or persons) who makes a transfer of real property (or real property, solely for purposes of subchapter III of this chapter [§ 47-1431 et seq.]).

(31) The term “vacant” means not occupied by the person having legal title or other title to the property and without other lawful occupants.


(July 13 1978, D.C. Law 2-91, § 101, 24 DCR 9765; Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-209, § 35(b)(1), 30 DCR 390; April 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104, § 35(a), 35 DCR 147; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 59(b), 45 DCR 745; June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 505(e), 48 DCR 334.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1401.

1973 Ed., § 47-3301.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-305, in pars. (4), (6), (10), (16), (17), (20), (24), (28), (29), and (30), deleted “residential” preceding “real property”; and, in par. (23), deleted “or ‘property’ ” following “ ‘residential real property’ ”.

Cross References

Deed recordation tax, execution of the deed, see § 42-1103.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5(e) of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(f) of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).