519-3 Leases of real property by a cooperative housing corporation. (a) All leases, including subleases executed by a cooperative housing corporation as lessee, and all leases, including subleases acquired by a cooperative housing corporation by assignment, whether executed prior to or after June 12, 1982, which directly or by incorporation provide for reopening of the contract for renegotiation of lease rent terms, shall provide or be construed in conformity with the following:

(1) Such renegotiations shall not be scheduled more frequently than once every ten years; provided that the first of such reopenings shall not be scheduled prior to the fifteenth year following the initial date of the lease; and

(2) Upon renegotiation, the lease rent payable by a cooperative housing corporation as lessee, sublessee, or assignee shall not exceed the amount derived by multiplying the "owner's basis" by the original percentage rate.

(b) In the event the parties to a lease are unable to achieve an agreement under any reopening provision, the Hawaii housing finance and development corporation or its designee shall arbitrate, and its findings shall be binding and conclusive on both parties. Arbitration proceedings under this subsection will be subject to the following requirements:

(1) An advance deposit, which amount shall be determined by the corporation, equal to projected expenses and fees of the corporation or its designee for arbitration proceedings shall be required and shall be paid equally by lessees and lessors. All additional expenses and fees incurred by the corporation or its designee while acting as the arbitrator shall be borne equally by lessees and lessors. These additional expenses and fees shall be subject to monthly billings or other arrangements which may be specified by contract. If more than one lessee is involved in an arbitration proceeding, all lessees shall share equally in one-half of the arbitration costs. The same division of costs shall apply if more than one lessor is involved in a proceeding.

(2) Failure on the part of lessees to comply with the provisions of this subsection, including failure to make advance deposits or payments, shall result in forfeiture of any rights or remedies under this chapter for arbitration, and the lessees' sole rights and remedies shall be as provided in the lease document.

(3) If lessors fail to comply with the provisions set forth in this subsection, including failure to make advance deposits or payments, then arbitration proceedings under this chapter will cease and lease rent shall be set at the most recent fixed lease rent. Upon compliance with the provisions set forth in this chapter, the arbitration may proceed, with the determination of the new lease rent effective only from the date of compliance by the lessor.

(4) Except as set forth in paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) above, all new lease rents shall be effective as of the date of reopening.

For the purpose of this subsection, "arbitration proceedings" means the actual arbitration conducted by the corporation or its designee pursuant to a contract executed by and among the lessees, lessor, and the arbitrator detailing among other things, the following: description of properties involved, time of performance, compensation, method of payment, settlement and other procedures, and termination.

(c) Any covenant or provision of a lease in violation of this section shall not be enforceable in any court in this State.

(d) For purposes of this section:

"Cooperative housing corporation" means a corporation:

(1) Having only one class of stock outstanding;

(2) Each of the stockholders of which is entitled, solely by reason of the shareholder's ownership of stock in the corporation, to occupy for dwelling purposes the dwelling unit in a building owned or leased by the corporation and situated on land leased by the corporation;

(3) No stockholder of which is entitled, either conditionally or unconditionally, to receive any distribution not out of earnings and profits of the corporation, except in a complete or partial liquidation of the corporation; and

(4) Eighty per cent or more of the gross income for the taxable year in which the taxes and interest described in title 26 United States Code section 216(a) are paid or incurred is derived from tenant stockholders.

"Offsite improvements" means all physical improvements, including but not limited to roads, sewer lines, sewage treatment plants, and underground utility cables, constructed or placed in a subdivision or development off the land intended for occupancy, which improvements are to be used in common by occupants of all lands adjoining the improvements or by occupants of all lands for whose benefit the improvements have been constructed or placed.

"Onsite improvements" means all physical improvements placed on a residential lot intended for occupancy, which improvements are for the benefit of occupants of that lot, including but not limited to dwelling units, garages, service buildings, stairs, walkways, driveways, walls, trees, shrubs, landscaping, and pools.

"Original percentage rate" means the percentage derived by dividing the annual lease rent established for the first fixed rent period under the lease by the fair market value of the land as of the first day of the first fixed rent period.

"Owner's basis" means the value of the lessor's leased fee interest in the property that would apply if the interest were normally traded on an open market. The fair market value of the owner's basis shall be established to provide the lessor with just compensation for the lessor's interests in the lot and shall take into consideration every interest and equity of the lessee in establishing that market value. The value may be determined by any method that is normally used by qualified appraisers in establishing the fair market value of a lessor's leased fee interest in land. [L 1982, c 220, 1; am L 1983, c 166, 2; am L 1984, c 47, 1 and c 191, 2; am L 1987, c 337, 16; am L 1988, c 104, 2; am L 1997, c 350, 14; am L 2005, c 196, 26(b); am L 2006, c 180, 16; am L 2018, c 18, 41]


Attorney General Opinions


Advance deposits cannot be used for processing arbitration applications. Att. Gen. Op. 85-19.


Case Notes


Section does not provide for case where lessee's agent for lease rent renegotiations is a cooperative housing corporation. 74 H. 210, 847 P.2d 652 (1992).



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