TOPA: Overview Of The Single Family TOPA Law

Hello this is Deirdre Brown your settlement agent serving the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The 2018 Single Family TOPA law states that owner’s of single family homes or a single family home with an accessory dwelling unit must provide notice to tenants that you plan to sell via Form 1. However, unlike the multi-unit TOPA law of 1980, tenants do not automatically have the first right of refusal.

In order for your tenant to be eligible for first right of refusal, they must be elderly or disabled and signed the lease agreement on or before March 31, 2018 and took possession of the property on or before April 15, 2018. They will also need to give notice to the landlord and the Department of Housing and Community Development via Form 2 that they want to exercise the right of first refusal. The tenant will also need to provide the Department of Housing and Community Development proof of their eligibility via Form 4.

If your tenant is eligible for first right of refusal they have the right to purchase the property and the rules for TOPA service under the 1980 law must be followed.

If you have TOPA questions reach out to me at

If you have any questions or comments please reach out!

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