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(6) "condominium unit" means a portion of a condominium project designated for separate ownership;
(7) "conversion project" means a project, which has five or more residential units, which was used primarily for residential rental purposes immediately prior to being converted to a condominium or cooperative project;
(8) "convey or conveyance" means (A) a transfer to a purchaser of legal title in a unit at settlement, other than as security for an obligation, or (B) the acquisition by a purchaser of a leasehold interest for more than five years;
(9) "cooperative association" means an organization that owns the record interest in the residential cooperative property or a leasehold of the residential property of a cooperative project and that is responsible for the operation of the cooperative project;
(10) "cooperative project" means real estate (A) which has five or more residential cooperative units, in each residential structure, subject to separate use and possession by one or more individual cooperative unit owners whose interest in such units and in the undivided assets of the cooperative association which are appurtenant to the unit are evidenced by a membership or share interest in a cooperative association and a lease or other muniment of title or possession granted by the cooperative association as the owner of all the cooperative property, and (B) an interest in which is or has been offered for sale or lease or sold, or leased directly or indirectly, through use of any means or instruments of transportation or communication in interstate commerce or of the mails;
(11) "cooperative property" means the real estate and personal property subject to cooperative ownership and all other property owned by the cooperative association;
(12) "cooperative unit" means a part of the cooperative property which is subject to exclusive use and possession by a cooperative unit owner. A unit may be improvements, land, or land and improvements together, as specified in the cooperative documents;
(13) "cooperative unit owner" means the person having a membership or share interest in the cooperative association and holding a lease, or other muniment of title or possession, of a cooperative unit that is granted by the cooperative association as the owner of the cooperative property;
(14) "developer" means (A) any person who offers to sell or sells his interest in a cooperative or condominium unit not previously conveyed, or (B) any successor of such person who offers to sell or sells his interest in units in a cooperative or condominium project and who has the authority to exercise special developer control in the project including the right to: add, convert, or withdraw real estate from the cooperative or condominium project, and maintain sales offices, management offices and rental units; exercise easements through common elements for the purpose of making improvements within the cooperative or condominium; or exercise control of the owners' association;
(15) "interstate commerce" means trade, traffic, transportation, communication, or exchange among the States, or between any foreign country and a State, or any transaction which affects such trade, traffic, transportation, communication, or exchange;
(16) "lease" includes any agreement or arrangement containing a condominium or cooperative unit owner's obligation, individually, collectively, or through an association to make payments for a leasehold interest or for other rights to use or possess real estate, or personal property (which rights may include the right to receive services with respect to such real estate or personal property), except a lease does not include mortgages or other such agreements for the purchase of real estate;
(17) "person" means a natural person, corporation, partnership, association, trust or other entity, or any combination thereof;
(18) "purchaser" means any person, other than a developer, who by means of a voluntary transfer acquires a legal or equitable interest in a unit, other than (A) a leasehold interest (including renewal options) of less than five years, or (B) as security for an obligation;
(19) "real estate" means any leasehold or other estate or interest in, over or under land, including structures, fixtures, and other improvements and interests which by custom, usage, or law pass with a conveyance of land though not described in the contract of sale or instrument of conveyance. "Real estate" includes parcels with or without upper or lower boundaries, and spaces that may be filled with air or water;
(20) "residential" means used as a dwelling;
(21) “sale”, “sale of a cooperative unit" or "sale of a condominium unit" means any obligation or arrangement for consideration for conveyance to a purchaser of a cooperative or condominium unit, excluding options or reservations not binding on the purchaser;
(22) "special developer control" means any right arising under State law, cooperative or condominium instruments, the association's bylaws, charter of articles of association or incorporation, or power of attorney or similar agreement, through which the developer may control or direct the unit owners' association or its executive board. A developer's right to exercise the voting share allocated to any condominium or cooperative unit which he owns is not deemed a right of special developer control if the voting share allocated to that condominium or cooperative unit is the same voting share as would be allocated to the same condominium or cooperative unit were that unit owned by any other unit owner at that time;
(23) "State" includes the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territories and possessions of the United States; and
(24) "tenants' organization" means a bona fide organization of tenants who represent a majority of the occupied rental units in a rental housing project.
SEC. 605. The provisions of this title shall not apply to
(1) a cooperative or condominium unit sold or offered for sale by the Federal Government, by any State or local government, by any corporate instrumentality of the United States, or by any agency thereof;
(2) a cooperative or condominium project in which all units are restricted to nonresidential purposes or uses; or
(3) any lease or portion thereof
(A) which establishes any leasehold or other estate or interest in, over or under land on or in which one or more residential condominium or cooperative units are located, the termination of which will terminate the condominium or cooperative project, or reduce the number of units in such project, or
(B) which establishes a leasehold interest in, or other rights to use, possess, or gain access to, a condominium or cooperative unit.
CONDOMINIUM AND COOPERATIVE CONVERSIONS
SEC. 606. It is the sense of the Congress that, when multifamily rental housing projects are converted to condominium or cooperative use, tenants in those projects are entitled to adequate notice of the pending conversion and to receive the first opportunity to purchase units in the converted projects and that State and local governments which have not already provided for such notice and opportunity for purchase should move toward that end. The Congress believes it is the responsibility of State and local governments to provide for such notice and opportunity to purchase in a prompt manner. The Congress has decided not to intervene and therefore leaves this responsibility to State and local governments to be carried out.
FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION INSURANCE
SEC. 607. Where an application for mortgage or loan insurance in connection with a conversion or purchase of a rental housing project being undertaken by a tenants' organization is submitted, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall expedite the processing of the application in every way and shall make a final decision on such application at the earliest practicable time.
OPTIONAL TERMINATION OF SELF-DEALING CONTRACTS
SEC. 608. (a) Any contract or portion thereof which is entered into after the effective date of this title, and which—
(1) provides for operation, maintenance, or management of a condominium or cooperative association in a conversion project, or of property serving the condominium or cooperative unit owners in such project;
(2) is between such unit owners or such association and the developer or an affiliate of the developer;
(3) was entered into while such association was controlled by the developer through special developer control or because the developer held a majority of the votes in such association; and
(4) is for a period of more than three years, including any automatic renewal provisions which are exercisable at the sole option of the developer or an affiliate of the developer,
may be terminated without penalty by such unit owners or such association.
(b) Any termination under this section may occur only during the two-year period beginning on the date on which
(1) special developer control over the association is terminated; or
(2) the developer owns 25 per centum or less of the units in the conversion project,
whichever occurs first.
(c) A termination under this section shall be by a vote of owners of not less than two-thirds of the units other than the units owned by the developer or an affiliate of the developer.
(d) Following the unit owners' vote, the termination shall be effective ninety days after hand delivering notice or mailing notice by prepaid United States mail to the parties to the contract.
CIVIL ACTION; UNCONSCIONABLE LEASES
SEC. 609. (a) Cooperative and condominium unit owners through the unit owners' association may bring an action seeking a judicial determination that a lease or leases, or portions thereof, were unconscionable at the time they were made. An action may be brought under this section if each such lease has all of the following characteristics:
(1) it was made in connection with a cooperative or condominium project;
(2) it was entered into while the cooperative or condominium owners' association was controlled by the developer either through special developer control or because the developer held a majority of the votes in the owners' association;
(3) it had to be accepted or ratified by purchasers or through the unit owners' association as a condition of purchase of a unit in the cooperative or condominium project;
(4) it is for a period of more than twenty-one years or is for a period of less than twenty-one years but contains automatic renewal provisions for a period of more than twenty-one years; (5) it contains an automatic rent increase clause; and (6) it was entered into prior to June 4, 1975.
Such action must be authorized by the cooperative or condominium unit owners through a vote of not less than two-thirds of the owners of the units other than units owned by the developer or an affiliate of the developer, and may be brought by the cooperative or condominium unit owners through the units owners' association. Prior to instituting such action, the cooperative or condominium unit owners must, through a vote of not less than two-thirds of the owners of the units other than units owned by the developer or an
affiliate of the developer, agree to enter into negotiation with the lessor and must seek through such negotiation to eliminate or modify any lease terms that are alleged to be unconscionable; if an agreement is not reached in ninety days from the date on which the authorizing vote was taken, the unit owners may authorize an action after following the procedure specified in the preceding sen
(b) A rebuttable presumption of unconscionability exists if it is established that, in addition to the characteristics set forth in subsection (a) of this section, the lease
(1) creates a lien subjecting any unit to foreclosure for failure to make payments;
(2) contains provisions requiring either the cooperative or condominium unit owners or the cooperative or condominium association as lessees to assume all or substantially all obligations and liabilities associated with the maintenance, management and use of the leased property, in addition to the obligation to make lease payments;
(3) contains an automatic rent increase clause without establishing a specific maximum lease payment; and
(4) requires an annual rental which exceeds 25 per centum of the appraised value of the leased property as improved: Provided, That, for purposes of this paragraph "annual rental" means the amount due during the first twelve months of the lease for all units, regardless of whether such units were occupied or sold during that period, and "appraised value" means the appraised value placed upon the leased property the first tax year after the sale of a unit in the condominium or after the sale of a membership or share interest in the cooperative association to a party who is not an affiliate of the developer. Once the rebuttable presumption is established, the court, in making its finding, shall consider the lease or portion of the lease to be unconscionable unless proven otherwise by a preponderance of the evidence to the contrary.
(c) Whenever it is claimed, or appears to the court, that a lease or any portion thereof is, or may have been, unconscionable at the time it was made, the parties shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to present evidence at least as to
(1) the commercial setting of the negotiations;
(2) whether a party has knowingly taken advantage of the inability of the other party reasonably to protect his interests; (3) the effect and purpose of the lease or portion thereof, including its relationship to other contracts between the association, the unit owners and the developer or an affiliate of the developer; and
(4) the disparity between the amount charged under the lease and the value of the real estate subject to the lease measured by the price at which similar real estate was readily obtainable in similar transactions.
(d) Upon finding that any lease, or portion thereof, is unconscionable, the court shall exercise its authority to grant remedial relief as necessary to avoid an unconscionable result, taking into consideration the economic value of the lease. Such relief may include, but shall not be limited to rescission, reformation, restitution, the