Bulletin: DC2020001

Date:
March 21, 2020
To:
All District of Columbia Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - DC COVID-19 Emergency Legislation and TOPA

Dear Associates:

The purpose of this Bulletin is to alert agents that on March 17, 2020, DC Council passed the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020. Important to our industry is that “[a]ll deadlines for tenants and tenant organizations to exercise rights under [the Rental Housing Conversion and Sales Act] that will occur during a period of time for which a public health emergency has been declared…are extended to a date 30 days following the end of the public health emergency.”

Mayor Bowser declared a public health emergency on March 11, 2020. That means any TOPA deadline that was set to expire on or after March 11, 2020 has not expired. At this time, we do not know when those deadlines will expire.

Providing insurance for transaction in which a tenant has resided requires Underwriter approval. As a reminder, the following language related to TOPA must be recited on all title commitments and policies.

TITLE COMMITMENTS

All Title Commitments issued in connection with the sale of ALL real estate in the District of Columbia must contain a requirement substantively similar to the following:

The Company must be furnished proof that no portion of the Property is leased for residential purposes. If any portion of the Property is leased for residential purposes, Company must be furnished proof that the requirements of the Rental Housing Conversion and Sale Act of 1980, as amended, have been complied with and otherwise comply with the Company's then applicable requirements for the removal of an exception for the rights of tenants under the Rental Housing Conversion and Sale Act of 1980, as amended.

TITLE POLICIES

If it is determined that any portion of the property has been leased in the past six (6) months for residential purposes, the Title Policy (both owner and lender) must contain an exception substantively similar to the following (unless Underwriter approval is given for its removal):

Rights of tenants under the Rental Housing Conversion and Sale Act of 1980, and all amendment thereto and regulations thereunder.

Removal of this exception requires specific Underwriter approval.

A copy of the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 can be found here.

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
SLS2020002 UNDERWRITING - Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) Update
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None