Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–1353. Purchase by District — right to sell or foreclose upon real property.

(a) If a real property has been bid off in the name of the District, the Mayor may:

(1) Sell the real property and:

(A) If a certificate of sale has been issued for the real property, assign to the purchaser the certificate of sale upon payment of the amount for which the real property was bid off, plus interest thereon to the date of the assignment; provided, that (i) the one-year period under § 47-1355 shall commence from the date of assignment; and (ii) the purchaser under this paragraph shall be deemed to have provided to the Mayor the purchaser’s name, address, and telephone number within the time prescribed; or

(B) If a certificate of sale has not been issued for the real property, issue to a purchaser (who has given to the Mayor such information as the Mayor may require) a certificate of sale as provided in § 47-1348 upon payment of the amount for which the real property was bid off, plus interest thereon to the date of issuance;

(2) Foreclose the right of redemption in the same manner as a purchaser; or

(3)(A) Transfer the entire or partial interest of the District for any amount of consideration (whether bid off or not) and issue to the purchaser a certificate of sale (or cancel a pre-existing certificate of sale issued to the District and reissue a combined certificate of sale to the purchaser); provided, that:

(i) The real property shall have been bid off under this chapter at least once for a period of taxes so transferred;

(ii) The purchaser shall be the District, an instrumentality of the District (or a subsidiary thereof), or a corporation not organized for profit and exempt from income taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved October 26, 1986 (68A Stat. 163; 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)); and

(iii) The purchaser shall rehabilitate an existing improvement on the real property, construct a new improvement on the real property, or otherwise dispose of the real property for the purposes of improving a neighborhood generally or in the best interests of the District.

(B) The Mayor may accept as payment a promissory note in the amount of the taxes owed and accrued under this chapter or other, which note shall be paid on resale of the real property; provided, that if the real property shall be sold for less than its fair market value, the consent of the Mayor for the discounted sale shall have been obtained.

(C) Notwithstanding § 47-1331, the Mayor may subordinate and determine the priority of the taxes to be paid under the promissory note to permit the rehabilitation, new construction, or disposition, and the promissory note shall be paid upon resale to the extent of the proceeds available.

(D) Notwithstanding subsection (d) of this section, if a redemption occurs, the promissory note shall be satisfied prior to the disbursement of an amount to the purchaser; provided, that the promissory note may subordinate the taxes to any costs and expenses incurred by the purchaser.

(E) The provisions of Chapter 8 of Title 10 shall not apply to real property acquired by the District or an instrumentality of the District (or a subsidiary thereof) under this paragraph. Real property acquired by the District or an instrumentality of the District (or a subsidiary thereof) under this paragraph may be sold only by the Mayor, or with the Mayor’s consent. The approval of the Council shall not be required for the sale of the real property.

(b)(1) Notwithstanding the minimum sale amount in subsection (a)(1) of this section, the Mayor may sell real property bid off in the name of the District for an amount less than required from the owner to redeem the real property and, if a certificate of sale has not been issued for the real property, issue to the purchaser thereof a certificate of sale, or, if a certificate of sale has been issued for the real property, assign the certificate of sale of the real property; provided, that:

(A) A public notice, to solicit potential purchasers, is published in 2 daily newspapers of general circulation within the District at least 30 days before offers or bids shall begin to be received;

(B) The public notice states how, where, and when offers or bids shall begin to be received and the closing date for offers or bids;

(C) The public notice states that the real property shall be sold or assigned to the person with the highest offer or bid;

(D) The public notice states that the successful purchaser shall pay the full amount of the bid before the sale or assignment shall be concluded;

(E) The public notice states that the results concerning all sales or assignments shall be published on the Internet in the form prescribed by paragraph (2) of this subsection;

(F) The public notice contains a list of the real properties to be so sold or assigned or the public notice states where the list may be obtained;

(G) The list contains a description of each real property, by premises address, taxation square, suffix, and lot number or parcel and lot number, as the real property appears on the tax roll; and

(H) The list states the periods and amounts of taxes for which the real property may be sold or the certificate of sale assigned.

(2) As soon as practical after the sale or assignment, the Mayor shall:

(A) Publish on the Internet a public notice concerning the results of the sale or assignment; and

(B) A list shall be attached to the public notice, which list shall state at least the following:

(i) The name of the purchaser of each real property sold or assigned, along with the corresponding square, suffix, and lot number or parcel and lot number;

(ii) The total amount of taxes for which the real property was sold or assigned; and

(iii) The amount paid for each real property by the purchaser.

(c)(1) When a certificate of sale is issued for real property sold or a certificate of sale is assigned under this section, the 6-month waiting period described in § 47-1370 shall be reduced by the number of days that shall have passed since the original public tax sale to which the certificate of sale corresponds.

(2) The Mayor may file a complaint to foreclose the right of redemption upon the expiration of the 6-month waiting period that shall commence from the applicable date of the tax sale at which the real property was bid off to the District.

(d) Upon payment to the Mayor as specified in § 47-1361(a) or if payment to the Mayor is made by another purchaser as specified in § 47-1382(c), the purchaser shall be refunded the sums paid on account of the purchase price, together with simple interest thereon at the rate of 1.5% per month or portion thereof on the amount paid for the real property, excluding surplus, beginning on the first day of the month immediately following the day of the tax sale to the purchaser or the date when the certificate of sale was assigned by the Mayor until the payment to the Mayor is made as required under § 47-1361(a) or § 47-1382(c); provided, that the purchaser shall not receive interest on any surplus.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Apr. 4, 2003, D.C. Law 14-282, § 11(gg), 50 DCR 896; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 201, 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7102(c)(15), 7104, 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, §§ 7037(f), 7132(c), 62 DCR 10905.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 10-801, § 42-407, § 47-1336, § 47-1342.01, § 47-1354, and § 47-1382.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-282 made nonsubstantive changes in subsecs. (a)(1)(B) and (a)(2); added subsec. (a)(3); and in subsec. (b), substituted “subsection (a)(1) of this section” for “subsection (a) of this section or § 47-414”.

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have substituted “Mayor” for “May” twice in (a)(1)(B); substituted “by premises address, taxation square” for “by square” in (b)(1)(G); substituted “applicable date of the tax sale” for “date of the original tax sale” in (c)(2); added (c)(3); the last two sentences in (c); and rewritten (d).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 substituted “Mayor” for “May” twice in (a)(1)(B); substituted “by premises address, taxation square” for “by square” in (b)(1)(G); substituted “applicable date of the tax sale” for “date of the original tax sale” in (c)(2); and rewrote (d).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 rewrote (d).

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 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(16) 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) addition of §  47-1353.01, concerning post-sale notice, see §  101(c)(17) 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) addition of § 47-1353.01, concerning post-sale notice, see § 101(c)(10) 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 § 7112(c)(15) 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)(15) 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)(15) 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, see §§ 2(c) and 3(c)(3) of the Market-based Sourcing Inter Alia Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-585, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1288, 21 STAT 752).

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 § 2(c) of the Market-based Sourcing Inter Alia Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-11, Mar. 26, 2015, 62 DCR 3835, 21 DCSTAT 836).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 7016(v)(10), 7016(y)(2), and 7102(c) 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(ll) 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(ll) 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)(11) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-179, March 7, 2015, 62 DCR 424).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of the Market-based Sourcing Inter Alia Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 20-259, Apr. 30, 2015, 62 DCR 2270).

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.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-36: Section 7132(e)(1) of D.C. Law 21-36 provided that § 7132(a),(b), and (c) of the act shall apply as of October 1, 2015.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority to the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, see Mayor’s Order 2007-209, September 27, 2007 ( 55 DCR 133).