After enacting a series of seven emergency measures to deal with the subject, the D.C. City Council finally enacted a permanent law last night that restricts the conversion of rental housing into cooperatives.
The measure will have no immediate effect on landlords and tenants, since the most recent 90-day emergency bill limiting conversions still is in effect. In addition, conversions are covered by the moratorium on the creation of new condominiums and cooperatives that was passed by the council two weeks ago.
The council passed the permanent bill on a voice vote after a brief discussion and no debate. It goes to the mayor for his signature and, after that, is subject to congressional review before taking effect.
The measure bans the conversion of units into cooperatives unless more than half the tenants agree to convert or more than half the units in a building are vacant or the building is considered to be in the high-rent bracket.
Under another emergency law now in effect, one-bedroom apartments renting for more than $292 and three bedroom apartments renting for more than $446 are considered to be high rent units.
On a related matter, the council enacted another bill requiring apartment owners to give tenants 30 days to form an organization to arrange for their own purchase of an apartment project the owner has decided to sell. Existing law requires landlords to negotiate with tenant organizations that already are in existence.