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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 sentence.
(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 estab lishing 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 ob
tainable 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 award of damages and reasonable attorney fees and court costs. A defendant may recover reasonable attorneys' fees if the court determines that the cause of action filed by the plaintiff is frivolous, malicious, or lacking in substantial merit.
(e) Nothing in this section may be construed to authorize the bringing of an action by cooperative and condominium unit owners' association, seeking a judicial determination that a lease or leases, or portions thereof, are unconscionable, where such unit owners or a unit owners' association representing them has, after the termination of special developer control, reached an agreement with a holder of such lease or leases which either
(1) sets forth the terms and conditions under which such lease or leases is or shall be purchased by such unit owners or associations; or
(2) reforms any cause in the lease which contained an auto matic rent increase clause, unless such agreement was entered into when the leaseholder or his affiliate held a majority of the votes in the owners' association.
SEC. 610. Any provision in any lease or contract requiring unit owners or the owners' association, in any conversion project involving a contract meeting the requirements of section 608 of this title or in any project involving a lease meeting the requirements of section 609 of this title, to reimburse, regardless of outcome, the developer, his successor, or affiliate of the developer for attorneys' fees or money judgments, in a suit between unit owners or the owners' association and the developer arising under the lease or agreement, is against public policy and void.
STATE AND LOCAL JURISDICTION
SEC. 611. Nothing in this title may be construed to prevent or limit the authority of any State or local government to enact and enforce any law, ordinance, or code with regard to any condominium, cooperative, or conversion project, if such law, ordinance, or code does not abridge, deny, or contravene any standard for consumer protection established under this title. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the provisions of this title, except for the application of section 609 and the prohibition included in section 610 as it relates to a lease with respect to which a cause of action may be established under section 609, shall not apply in the case of any State or local government which has the authority to enact and enforce such a law, ordinance, or code, if, during the three-year period following the date of enactment of this title, such State or local government enacts a law, ordinance, or code, or amendments thereto, stating in substance that such provisions of this title shall not apply in that State or local government jurisdiction.
SEC. 612. (a) Unless otherwise limited as in section 608 or 609 of this title, any person aggrieved by a violation of this title may sue at law or in equity.
(b) In any action authorized by this section for a violation of section 608 or 610 were actual damages have been suffered, such damages may be awarded or such other relief granted as deemed fair, just, and equitable.
(c) Every person who becomes liable to make any payment under this section may recover contributions from any person who, if sued separately, would have been liable to make the same payment.
(d) The amounts recoverable under this section may include interest paid, reasonable attorneys' fees, independent engineer and appraisers' fees, and court costs. A defendant may recover reasonable attorneys' fees if the court determines that the cause of action filed by the plaintiff is frivolous, malicious, or lacking in substantial merit.
JURISDICTION SEC. 613. The district courts of the United States, the United States courts of any territory, and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia shall have jurisdiction under this title and, concurrent with State courts, of actions at law or in equity brought under this title without regard to the amount in controversy. Any such action may be brought in the district wherein the defendant is found or is an inhabitant or transacts business, or in the district where the sale took place, and process in such cases may be served in other districts of which the defendant is an inhabitant or wherever the defendant may be found. No case arising under this title and brought in any State court of competent jurisdiction shall be removed to any court of the United States, except where any officer or employee of the United States in his official capacity is a party.
LIMITATION OF ACTIONS Sec. 614. No action shall be maintained to enforce any right or liability created by this title unless brought within six years after such cause of action, accrued, except that an action pursuant to section 609 must be brought within four years after the date of enactment of this title.
CONTRARY STIPULATIONS VOID SEC. 615. Any condition, stipulation, or provision binding any person to waive compliance with any provisions of this title shall be void.
SEC. 616. The rights and remedies provided by this title shall be in addition to any and all other rights and remedies that may exist under Federal or State law.
Sec. 617. If any provisions of this title or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this title shall not be affected thereby.
SEC. 618. The provisions of this title shall become effective upon enactment, except that section 609, and the prohibition included in section 610 as it relates to a lease with respect to which a cause of action may be established under section 609, shall become effective one year after enactment.
Approved October 8, 1980.
RATE OF WAGES FOR LABORERS AND MECHANICS
EXCERPT FROM ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931 (DAVIS-BACON ACT)
(Ch.. 411; 46 Stat. 1494; 40 U.S.C. 276a-276a-5)
An Act relating to the rate of wages for laborers and mechanics employed on public
buildings of the United States and the District of Columbia by contractors and subcontractors, and for other purposes.
(a) That the advertised specifications for every contract in excess of $2,000, to which the United States or the District of Columbia is a party, for construction, alteration, and/or repair, including painting and decorating, of public buildings or public works of the United States or the District of Columbia within the geographical limits of the States of the Union or the District of Columbia, and which requires or involves the employment of mechanics, and/or laborers shall contain a provision stating the minimum wages to be paid various classes of laborers and mechanics which shall be based upon the wages that will be determined by the Secretary of Labor to be prevailing for the corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on projects of a character similar to the contract work in the city, town, village, or other civil subdivision of the State in which the work is to be performed, or in the District of Columbia if the work is to be performed there; and every contract based upon these specifications shall contain a stipulation that the contractor or his subcontractor shall pay all mechanics and laborers employed directly upon the site of the work, unconditionally and not less often than once a week, and without subsequent deduction or rebate on any account, the full amounts accrued at time of payment, computed at wage rates not less than those stated in the advertised specifications, regardless of any contractual relationship which may be alleged to exist between the contractor or subcontractor and such laborers and mechanics, and that the scale of wages to be paid shall be posted by the contractor in a prominent and easily accessible place at the site of the work; and the further stipulation that there may be withheld from the contractor so much of accrued payments as may be considered necessary by the contracting officer to pay to laborers and mechanics employed by the contractor or any subcontractor on the work the difference between the rates of wages required by the contract to be paid laborers and mechanics on the work and the rates of wages received by such laborers and mechanics and not refunded to the contractor, subcontractors, or their agents.
(b) As used in this Act the term "wages”, “scale of wages”, “wage rates”, “minimum wages”, and “prevailing wages” shall include
(1) the basic hourly rate of pay; and
(A) the rate of contribution irrevocably made by a contractor or subcontractor to a trustee or to a third person pursuant to a fund, plan, or program; and
(B) the rate of costs to the contractor or subcontractor which may be reasonably anticipated in providing benefits to laborers and mechanics pursuant to an enforcible commitment to carry out a financially responsible plan or pro