Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–1372. Notice to certain persons.

(a)(1) The plaintiff shall send written notice of the action to:

(A) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 47-1371(b)(4), all persons having a recorded interest, recorded claim, or recorded lien, including a recorded judgment, who have not been made a defendant in the action and, if the real property is the common areas owned by or legally dedicated to a homeowners association, to the homeowners association governing the real property, at the last reasonably ascertainable address; and

(B) Each commercial tenant of the real property whose identity is known to the plaintiff at the commercial tenant’s last reasonably ascertainable address.

(C)(i) A purchaser of the real property, or an assignee of a certificate of sale, if the purchaser has recorded the certificate of sale and any assignee has recorded the assignment, as prescribed by § 47-1350, within 4 months after the date of the tax sale to the plaintiff; provided, that the purchaser or assignee shall file an attachment with the certificate of sale or assignment indicating his mailing address; provided further, that the assignee shall file the certificate of sale if the certificate was not filed by the purchaser.

(ii) Foreclosure of the right of redemption shall not extinguish the amount to which the purchaser or assignee is entitled under this chapter.

(2) This section shall not apply to residential tenants.

(b) The notice under subsection (a) of this section shall be:

(1) Sent by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, bearing a postmark from the United States Postal Service; and

(2) Accompanied by a copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint.

(c) The plaintiff shall file in the action:

(1) The return receipt from the notice; or

(2) If the return receipt has not been returned, the proof of mailing and an affidavit stating that the notice provisions of subsection (b) of this section have been complied with, or an affidavit stating that the address of the holder of the subordinate interest is not reasonably ascertainable.

(d)(1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the plaintiff shall send written notice of the action to any commercial tenant of the real property whose occupancy of the real property is reasonably ascertainable by the plaintiff, whether or not the commercial tenant’s identity is known:

(A) By first-class mail, postage prepaid, bearing a postmark from the United States Postal Service, addressed to the commercial tenant by name if the identity of the commercial tenant is known to the plaintiff, or addressed to “occupant” if the identity of the commercial tenant is not known;

(B) To each separately leased area of the real property that the plaintiff can reasonably ascertain is occupied;

(C) In an envelope prominently marked on the outside with the phrase “Notice of Action to Foreclose”; and

(D) Accompanied by a copy of the complaint.

(2) The notice shall include the following statement in conspicuous, bold-faced print:

“If the unpaid taxes, together with costs and expenses, are not paid, the court may enter a judgment foreclosing the right of redemption that would terminate your lease and right to occupy the real property. You have the right to pay the unpaid taxes, together with costs and expenses, and avoid lease termination and eviction. A judgment foreclosing the right of redemption could be entered within the next 90 days and at that time you could be evicted or required to vacate the real property.”

(e) If the filing under subsection (c) of this section is made before the entry of final judgment, the failure of a person under subsection (a)(1) of this section to receive the notice shall not invalidate the sale.

(f) In addition to the notice required by subsection (a) of this section, the plaintiff shall provide notice of the action by posting a copy of the summons on a place on the premises of the real property where it may be conveniently read.

(g)(1) Subject to § 47-1371(b)(1) and (4), after entry of a judgment foreclosing the right of redemption and at least 30 days before taking possession of the real property, the plaintiff shall give any commercial tenant of the real property written notice of the plaintiff’s intention to obtain possession of the real property and that the commercial tenant shall vacate the real property within 30 days after the notice.

(2) During the 30-day period immediately following entry of the judgment foreclosing the right of redemption, the plaintiff may apply for, process, and obtain, but not execute upon, a writ of possession of the real property.

(3) The notice under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be sent:

(A) By first-class mail, postage prepaid, bearing a postmark from the United States Postal Service, addressed to the commercial tenant by name if the identity of the commercial tenant is known to the plaintiff, or addressed to “occupant” if the identity of the commercial tenant is not known;

(B) To each separately leased portion of the real property that the plaintiff can reasonably ascertain is occupied; and

(C) In an envelope prominently marked on the outside with the phrase “Notice of taking possession of real property.”


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Apr. 4, 2003, D.C. Law 14-282, § 11(kk), 50 DCR 896; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(25), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c)(25), 7104, 61 DCR 9990.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-282, in subsec. (a)(1), added par. (C).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have substituted “date of the tax sale” for “date of the sale” in (a)(1)(C)(i).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 substituted “date of the tax sale” for “date of sale” in (a)(1)(C).

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)(26) 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)(25) 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 § 101(c)(26) 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 § 7102(c)(25) 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)(25) 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).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) 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(pp) 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).

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, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.