Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–1903.02. Control by declarant; limitations; contracts entered on behalf of unit owners; declarant to act where owners’ association or officers thereof not existent; graduated representation of unit owners in executive board; strict construction.

(a) The condominium instruments may authorize the declarant, or a managing agent or some other person or persons selected or to be selected by the declarant, to appoint and remove some or all of the officers of the unit owners’ association or members of its executive board, or both, or to exercise powers and responsibilities otherwise assigned by the condominium instruments and by this chapter to the unit owners’ association, the officers, or the executive board. But no amendment to the condominium instruments shall increase the scope of such authorization if there is any unit owner other than the declarant and no such authorization shall be valid after the time set by the condominium instruments or after units to which three-fourths of the undivided interests in the common elements appertain have been conveyed, whichever occurs first. For the purposes of the preceding sentence only, the calculation of the fraction of undivided interest shall be based upon the total undivided interests assigned or to be assigned to all units registered with the Mayor according to § 42-1904.06. The time limit initially set by the condominium instruments shall not exceed 3 years in the case of an expandable condominium or a condominium containing convertible land, or 2 years in the case of any other condominium containing any convertible land, or 2 years in the case of any other condominium. Such period shall commence upon settlement of the first unit to be sold in any portion of the condominium.

(b)(1) If entered into at any time prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control contemplated by subsection (a) of this section, no contract or lease entered into with the declarant or an affiliate of a declarant, other than a lease subject to § 42-1902.10(e), management contract, employment contract, or lease of a recreational or parking area or facility, which is directly or indirectly made by or on behalf of the unit owners’ association or the unit owners as a group, shall be entered into for a period in excess of 2 years. Any contract or agreement entered into after March 8, 1991, may be terminated without penalty by the unit owners’ association or the executive board of the unit owners’ association upon not less than 90 days written notice to the other party.

(2) If entered into at any time prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control contemplated by subsection (a) of this section, any contract, lease or agreement, other than those subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, may be entered into by or on behalf of the unit owners’ association, its executive board, or the unit owners as a group, if such contract, lease or agreement is bona fide and is commercially reasonable to the unit owners’ association at the time entered into under the circumstances.

(c) If the unit owners’ association is not in existence or does not have officers at the time of the creation of the condominium, the declarant shall, until there is such an association with such officers, have the power and the responsibility to act in all instances where this subchapter or the condominium instruments require or permit action by the unit owners’ association, its executive board, or any officer or officers.

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the bylaws shall provide that:

(1) Not later than the time that units to which 25% of the undivided interests in the common elements appertain have been conveyed, the unit owners’ association shall cause a special meeting to be held at which not less than 25% of the members of the executive board shall be selected by unit owners other than declarant; and

(2) Not later than the time units to which 50% of the undivided interests in the common elements appertain have been conveyed, the unit owners’ association shall cause a special meeting to be held at which not less than 33 1/3% of the members of the executive board shall be selected by unit owners other than declarant.

(e) Repealed.

(f) This section shall be strictly construed to protect the rights of the unit owners.


(Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-89, title III, § 302, 23 DCR 9532b; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-233, § 2(w), 38 DCR 261.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-1842.

1973 Ed., § 5-1242.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-1901.02, § 42-1902.02, § 42-1902.30, § 42-1903.01, § 42-1903.09, § 42-1903.18, and § 42-1904.07.