Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–1346. Sale at public auction.

(a)(1)(A) The sale shall be held by the Mayor on the date and at the place stated in the public notice.

(B) If the sale cannot be completed on the date stated in the notice, the Mayor shall continue the sale, as determined by the Mayor and announced to the potential purchasers at the sale, until all real property included in the public notice is sold.

(2) All sales shall be at public auction to the purchaser who makes the highest bid.

(3)(A) The Mayor shall retain any common law or other authority normally granted to an auctioneer conducting a public auction and may refuse to accept bids that are not made in good faith.

(B) The Mayor may delegate this authority to an auctioneer.

(4) The conduct of the sale shall be according to terms set by the Mayor, and published with a reasonable degree of specificity in the public notice, to ensure the orderly functioning of the public auction and the integrity of the tax sale process, including requirements that potential purchasers:

(A) Establish their eligibility for bidding by presenting evidence of the legal existence of the bidding entities that are satisfactory to the Mayor;

(B) Limit their representation at a sale to no more than a single agent for each bidding entity;

(C) Refrain from an act, agreement, consent, or conspiracy to suppress, pre-determine, rig, or fix the bidding at the sale; and

(D) Provide such other information as the Mayor may require.

(5)(A) A potential purchaser, including a natural person or business entity, who is delinquent in payment of in rem taxes to the District or who has been convicted of a felony involving fraud, deceit, moral turpitude, or anti-competitive behavior may not bid on real property offered at a sale held under this chapter or otherwise acquire an interest in real property sold under this chapter.

(B) A potential purchaser, including a natural person or business entity, shall certify under oath, subject to the penalties of perjury, that the potential purchaser is not more than one year in arrears in any jurisdiction in payment of in rem taxes not being contested in good faith and has not been convicted in any jurisdiction of a felony involving fraud, deceit, moral turpitude, or anti-competitive behavior.

(C) A certificate of sale held by a purchaser that willfully and materially violates the provisions of this paragraph shall be voidable at the discretion of the Mayor; provided, that after the issuance of a final order by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia foreclosing the right of redemption, the certificate is no longer voidable. A certificate that is voided by the Mayor pursuant to this subparagraph shall be subject to the provisions of § 47-1355(b).

(D) The intent of this paragraph shall not be circumvented by a purchaser through the use of one or more business entities to avoid its intended application.

(E) For the purposes of this paragraph, a potential purchaser shall include a person owning a 10% or more equity interest in, or an officer of, an entity that owns a 10% or more equity interest in real property on which taxes are delinquent.

(b) Before making any bid, a potential purchaser shall have on deposit 20% of the purchase price. The deposit shall guarantee full and final settlement for the purchase. If the required deposit is not sufficient, the real property shall be immediately re-auctioned.

(c) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, a real property shall not be sold for less than the amount of the taxes.