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Understanding Topa Matters in Landlord-Tenant Disputes

Robert L. Pfeferman Feb. 13, 2023

Understanding Topa Matters in Landlord-Tenant Disputes

When it comes to landlord-tenant disputes, TOPA (Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act) can play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the case. As a property owner, it's important to understand the ins and outs of TOPA and how it may impact your rights and responsibilities. In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive overview of TOPA matters, including what they are, how they work, and what you need to know as a landlord.

What is TOPA?

TOPA, or the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, is a law that gives tenants the right to purchase their rental property before it can be sold to a third party. This law was enacted to protect tenants from displacement and ensure they have the opportunity to remain in their homes.

How Does TOPA Work?

When a landlord decides to sell their rental property, they must provide written notice to all tenants of their intention to sell. This notice must include information about the terms and conditions of the sale, including the sales price and any contingencies.

Once the tenants receive the notice, they have the right to match the terms of the sale and purchase the property themselves. If more than one tenant expresses interest in purchasing the property, the landlord must sell it to the highest bidder.

What Are the Consequences of Not Following TOPA?

If a landlord fails to comply with TOPA, they may be liable for damages and penalties. This can include fines, legal fees, and other costs associated with the dispute. In addition, the sale of the property may be delayed or even cancelled if the tenants are able to successfully challenge the sale in court.

What Should Landlords Know About TOPA Matters?

As a landlord, it's important to understand the implications of TOPA and take the necessary steps to ensure compliance. This includes providing written notice to tenants in a timely manner, responding promptly to any tenant inquiries, and working with a knowledgeable attorney to navigate the legal process.

In addition, landlords should be mindful of the timeline for TOPA matters. The process can be complex and time-sensitive, so it's important to stay organized and keep track of important deadlines.


TOPA matters can play a critical role in landlord-tenant disputes, and it's important for landlords to understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. By taking the time to familiarize yourself with the TOPA process, you can help protect your interests and avoid potential legal complications