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Did you know there is a website where tenants can sell their TOPA rights?

November 6, 2015

Did you know… that there is a website where tenants can sell their TOPA rights?

Those who sell real estate in the District of Columbia have likely heard of the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), and many of you have probably had a bad brush with it. TOPA is a tenant’s right law like no other in the country, and navigating it can be difficult, to say the least. In brief, TOPA provides tenants with two rights—an opportunity to purchase the property they live in and a separate right to match a third party contract for the property. The law specifies that tenants may assign their “TOPA rights” for consideration. It is not unusual to have a situation where the seller has a contract with a third party purchaser, the tenant decides to exercise his/her TOPA rights and then assigns the TOPA rights to another party. Now there is a new website, Real Estate First Refusal Exchange that facilitates the sale of TOPA rights. Not only can tenants sign up to sell their rights, but real estate agents with clients interested in buying TOPA rights can also sign up. While the website does not appear to be well known at the moment, if it catches on, it will surely make TOPA cases much more difficult to navigate.

If you have questions about TOPA, please contact one of the attorney’s listed here.

For more information regarding our Residential Real Estate Settlements Group or our general real estate transactions and litigation practice, please contact the Group Chair at 301-230-6574 or

This publication/newsletter is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting a lawyer.

Residential Real Estate Practice


Matthew D. Alegi

David M. Kochanski

Marc D. Lipman