Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–2853.196. General provisions governing disclosure of brokerage relationships.

(a) Brokerage relationships shall have a definite termination date; however, if a brokerage relationship does not specify a definite termination date, the brokerage relationship shall terminate 90 days after the date the brokerage relationship was entered into.

(b) Except as otherwise agreed to in writing, a licensee owes no further duties to a client after termination, expiration, or completion of performance of the brokerage relationship, except to account for all moneys and property relating to the brokerage relationship, and keep confidential all personal and financial information received from the client during the course of the brokerage relationship and any other information that the client requests during the brokerage relationship be maintained confidential, unless otherwise provided by law or the client consents in writing to the release of such information.

(c) Upon having a substantive discussion about a specific property or properties with an actual or prospective buyer or seller who is not the client of the licensee, a licensee shall disclose any broker relationship the licensee has with another party to the transaction. The disclosure shall be made in writing at the earliest practical time, but in no event later than the time when specific real estate assistance is first provided, and shall be substantially in the form determined by the Board by regulation.

(d) A licensee shall disclose to an actual or prospective landlord or tenant, who is not the client of the licensee, that the licensee has a brokerage relationship with another party or parties to the transaction. The disclosure shall be in writing and included in all applications for lease or in the lease itself, whichever occurs first. If the terms of the lease do not provide for disclosure, disclosure shall be made in writing no later than the signing of lease. This disclosure requirement shall not apply to lessors or lessees in single or multifamily residential units for lease terms of less than 2 months.

(e) If a licensee’s relationship to a client or customer changes, the licensee shall disclose that fact in writing to all clients and customers already involved in the specific contemplated transaction.

(f) Copies of any disclosures relative to fully executed purchase contracts shall be kept by the licensee for a period of 3 years as proof of having made disclosure, whether or not such disclosure is acknowledged in writing by the party to whom the disclosure was shown or given.

(g) A licensee may act as a dual representative only with the written consent of all clients to the transaction. The written consent and disclosure of the brokerage relationship as required by this section shall be presumed to have been given as against any client who signs a disclosure as provided in this section.

(h) The disclosure may be given in combination with other disclosures or provided with other information, but shall be substantially in the form determined by the Board by regulation.

(i) No cause of action shall arise against a dual representative for making disclosures of brokerage relationships as provided by this section. A dual representative does not terminate any brokerage relationship by the making of any such allowed or required disclosures of dual representation.

(j) In any real estate transaction, a licensee may withdraw, without liability, from representing a client who refuses to consent to a disclosed dual representation, thereby terminating the brokerage relationship with such client. Withdrawal shall not prejudice the ability of the licensee to continue to represent the other client in the transaction nor to limit the licensee from representing the client who refused the dual representation in other transactions not involving dual representation.

(k) A principal or supervising broker may assign different licensees affiliated with the broker as designated representatives to represent different clients in the same transaction to the exclusion of all other licensees in the firm. Use of designated representatives shall not constitute dual representation if a designated representative is not representing more than one client in a particular real estate transaction; however, the principal or broker who is supervising the transaction shall be considered a dual representative as provided in this article. Designated representatives may not disclose, except to the affiliated licensee’s broker, personal or financial information received from the clients during the brokerage relationship and any other information that the client requests during the brokerage relationship be kept confidential, unless otherwise provided for by law or the client consents in writing to the release of such information.

(l) Use of designated representatives in a real estate transaction shall be disclosed in accordance with the provisions of this section. Disclosure may be given in combination with other disclosures or provided with other information, but shall be substantially in the form determined by the Board by regulation.

(m) The payment or promise of payment or compensation to a real estate broker or property manager does not create a brokerage relationship between any broker, seller, landlord, buyer or tenant.

(n) No licensee representing a buyer or tenant shall be deemed to have a brokerage relationship with a seller, landlord, or other licensee solely by reason of using a common source information company.

(o) A client is not liable for a misrepresentation made by a licensee in connection with a brokerage relationship, unless the client knew or should have known of the misrepresentation and failed to take reasonable steps to correct the misrepresentation in a timely manner, or the negligence, gross negligence, or intentional acts of any property manager, broker, or broker’s licensee.

(p) A licensee who has a brokerage relationship with a client and who engages another licensee to assist in providing brokerage services to such client shall not be liable for a misrepresentation made by the other licensee, unless the licensee knew or should have known of the other licensee’s misrepresentation and failed to take reasonable steps to correct the misrepresentation in a timely manner, or the negligence, gross negligence, or intentional acts of the assisting licensee or assisting licensee’s licensee.

(q) Clients and licensees shall be deemed to possess actual knowledge and information only. Knowledge or information between or among clients and licensees shall not be imputed.

(r) The common law of agency relative to brokerage relationships in real estate transactions to the extent inconsistent with this section shall be expressly abrogated.

(s) Nothing in this part shall limit the liability between or among clients and licensees in all matters involving unlawful discriminatory housing practices.

(t) Except as expressly set forth in this subchapter, nothing in this part shall affect a person’s right to rescind a real estate transaction or limit the liability of a client for the misrepresentation, negligence, gross negligence, or intentional acts of such client in connection with a real estate transaction, or a licensee for the misrepresentation, negligence, gross negligence, or intentional acts of such licensee in connection with a real estate transaction.

(u) The criminal penalties provided in § 42-1763 [repealed] shall not be applicable to violations of this section, which shall be civil and regulatory in nature.


(Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 1002, 46 DCR 3142.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2853.196.