Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–1346. Sale at public auction.

(a)(1)(A) The sale shall be held by the Mayor on the date and at the place stated in the public notice.

(B) If the sale cannot be completed on the date stated in the notice, the Mayor shall continue the sale, as determined by the Mayor and announced to the potential purchasers at the sale, until all real property included in the public notice is sold.

(2) All sales shall be at public auction to the purchaser who makes the highest bid.

(3)(A) The Mayor shall retain any common law or other authority normally granted to an auctioneer conducting a public auction and may refuse to accept bids that are not made in good faith.

(B) The Mayor may delegate this authority to an auctioneer.

(4) The conduct of the sale shall be according to terms set by the Mayor, and published with a reasonable degree of specificity in the public notice, to ensure the orderly functioning of the public auction and the integrity of the tax sale process, including requirements that potential purchasers:

(A) Establish their eligibility for bidding by presenting evidence of the legal existence of the bidding entities that are satisfactory to the Mayor;

(B) Limit their representation at a sale to no more than a single agent for each bidding entity;

(C) Refrain from an act, agreement, consent, or conspiracy to suppress, pre-determine, rig, or fix the bidding at the sale; and

(D) Provide such other information as the Mayor may require.

(5)(A) A potential purchaser, including a natural person or business entity, who is delinquent in payment of in rem taxes to the District or who has been convicted of a felony involving fraud, deceit, moral turpitude, or anti-competitive behavior may not bid on real property offered at a sale held under this chapter or otherwise acquire an interest in real property sold under this chapter.

(B) A potential purchaser, including a natural person or business entity, shall certify under oath, subject to the penalties of perjury, that the potential purchaser is not more than one year in arrears in any jurisdiction in payment of in rem taxes not being contested in good faith and has not been convicted in any jurisdiction of a felony involving fraud, deceit, moral turpitude, or anti-competitive behavior.

(C) A certificate of sale held by a purchaser that willfully and materially violates the provisions of this paragraph shall be voidable at the discretion of the Mayor; provided, that after the issuance of a final order by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia foreclosing the right of redemption, the certificate is no longer voidable. A certificate that is voided by the Mayor pursuant to this subparagraph shall be subject to the provisions of § 47-1355(b).

(D) The intent of this paragraph shall not be circumvented by a purchaser through the use of one or more business entities to avoid its intended application.

(E) For the purposes of this paragraph, a potential purchaser shall include a person owning a 10% or more equity interest in, or an officer of, an entity that owns a 10% or more equity interest in real property on which taxes are delinquent.

(b) Before making any bid, a potential purchaser shall have on deposit 20% of the purchase price. The deposit shall guarantee full and final settlement for the purchase. If the required deposit is not sufficient, the real property shall be immediately re-auctioned.

(c) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, a real property shall not be sold for less than the amount of the taxes.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Apr. 4, 2003, D.C. Law 14-282, § 11(dd), 50 DCR 896; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(11), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7102(c)(11), 7104, 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 7037(d), 62 DCR 10905.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1355.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-282, in subsec. (b), substituted “have on deposit” for “deposit the greater of $100 or”.

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have rewritten (a)(5).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 rewrote (a)(5).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 substituted “in rem taxes” for “taxes” in (a)(5)(A) and (B).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(oo) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(hh) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(ii) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(ii) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(11) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(11) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112(c)(11) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(11) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(11) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7016(v)(8) and (y)(2) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(ii) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Temporary Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-191, October 5, 2002, law notification 49 DCR 9549).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(ii) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Temporary Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 14-228, March 23, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2741).

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 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).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(r)(9) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-179, March 7, 2015, 62 DCR 424).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-36: Section 7048(b) of D.C. Law 21-36 provided that §§ 7027, 7031, 7036, and 7037 of the act shall apply as of October 1, 2014.