Monday, February 22, 2010

Two Lots or More?

In the District of Columbia, it may be possible to record plat and plans of a condominium that sits on two or more lots. Surprisingly, multiple lots of record do not necessarily need to be contiguous so long as they all sit in the same square.

For a review of your survey(s) and legal description(s), call us today at 202.351.6100.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Vacant Property Tax Rate

New tax rates for vacant properties will go into effect this March. The default of $10 tax for each $100 of assessed value for vacant properties will drop down to $1.65 for each $100 of assessed value (up to the first $3,000,000 of assessed value). In other words, the default rate will switch from Class III to Class II without any need to qualify the property for an exemption.

This does not mean that owners have been given a green light to neglect their properties. The city can still go after blighted properties in a number of ways, including application of the Class III rate of $10 tax for each $100 of assessed value for vacant properties. To avoid a finding by the DCRA Office of Vacant Property that a property is blighted, the owner should take a number of steps, including but not limited to the following: (1) Make sure that the property does not pose any threat to the health or safety of the community. (2) Maintain the landscaping of the property. (3) Improve the appearance of any scructures on the property by removing boards that have been used to board up windows and other openings, remove or paint over graffiti, secure doors and windows against intruders, and protect the exterior surfaces by applying paint or other materials. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of steps that an owner must take to avoid a blighted property qualification. For more information on the subject, consult the DCRA Office of Vacant Property.

Owners of vacant properties are required by law to fill out the registration form provided by the Office of Vacant Property and file it with the Office of Vacant Property.

If you have would like to find out more about the rules pertaining to vacant properties in the District of Columbia, please contact us at BuckmanLegal PLLC by calling 202.351.6100 or send an email to