WSR 98-15-111

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

[Filed July 20, 1998, 9:42 a.m.]



Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 98-07-101.

Title of Rule: WAC 460-32A-400 Sales in condominiums or units in a real estate development.

Purpose: To eliminate duplicated text of federal Securities and Exchange Commission Securities Act Release No. 5347 from the language of WAC 460-32A-400. The federal release will be incorporated by reference.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 21.20.450.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 21.20 RCW.

Summary: This proposal would eliminate from the text of WAC 460-32A-400 text of Release No. 5347. The release will continue to be referenced in the rule.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: To eliminate text of Securities and Exchange Commission Securities Act Release No. 5347 from the language of the rule.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Brad Ferber, 210 11th Avenue S.W., Olympia, WA, (360) 902-8760; Implementation: John L. Bley, 210 11th Avenue S.W., Olympia, WA (360) 902-8760; and Enforcement: Deborah Bortner, 210 11th Avenue S.W., Olympia, WA, (360) 902-8760.

Name of Proponent: Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 460-32A-400 incorporates the text of federal Securities and Exchange Commission Securities Act Release No. 5347, which addresses the applicability of the federal securities laws to the offer and sale of condominium units, or other units in a real estate development, coupled with an offer or agreement to perform or arrange certain rental or other services for the purchaser. The Securities Division concurs with the federal position, but proposes to reference the release in the rule rather than incorporating its text. Duplicated text is eliminated and the same result achieved by retaining by the reference to the federal release.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: During rules review according to Executive Order 97-02, Securities Division staff recognized that text contained in a federal release duplicated in a state rule. This text could be eliminated and the same result achieved by incorporation by reference to the release.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposal does not have economic impact on business.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. The Department of Financial Institutions is not a listed agency in section 201.

Hearing Location: Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division, Executive Conference Room, 300 General Administration Building, 210 11th Avenue S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, on August 25, 1998, at 2:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Darlene Christianson by August 21, 1998, TDD (360) 664-8126, or (360) 902-8760.

Submit Written Comments to: Brad Ferber, P.O. Box 9033, Olympia, WA 98507-9033, fax (360) 586-5068, by August 24, 1998.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 26, 1998.

July 17, 1998

John L. Bley

Director

OTS-2324.1

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 304, filed 2/28/75, effective 4/1/75)



WAC 460-32A-400  Sales in condominiums or units in real estate development. The Washington Securities Act provides that its interpretation and administration be coordinated with related Federal regulations. In light of such policy and due to the relevance and importance of the Securities and Exchange Commission Securities Act Release No. 5347, the division of securities hereby adopts Securities and Exchange Commission Securities Act Release No. 5347((, which is hereinafter set forth in its entirety)).

(("The Securities and Exchange Commission called attention to the applicability of the federal securities laws to the offer and sale of condominium units, or other units in a real estate development, coupled with an offer or agreement to perform or arrange certain rental or other services for the purchaser. The Commission noted that such offerings may involve the offering of a security in the form of an investment contract or a participation in a profit sharing arrangement within the meaning of the Securities Act of l933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Where this is the case any offering of any such securities must comply with the registration and prospectus delivery requirements of the Securities Act, unless an exemption therefrom is available, and must comply with the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act and the Securities Exchange Act and the regulations thereunder. In addition, persons engaged in the business of buying or selling investment contracts or participations in profit sharing agreements of this type as agents for others, or as principal for their own account, may be brokers or dealers [for a special exemption from the Washington Securities Act, see WAC 460-20A-235] within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act, and therefore may be required to be registered as such with the Commission under the provisions of Section 15 of that Act.

The commission is aware that there is uncertainty about when offerings of condominiums and other types of similar units may be considered to be offerings of securities that should be registered pursuant to the Securities Act. The purpose of this release is to alert persons engaged in the business of building and selling condominiums and similar types of real estate developments to their responsibilities under the Securities Act and to provide guidelines for a determination of when an offering of condominiums or other units may be viewed as an offering of securities. Resort condominiums are one of the more common interests in real estate the offer of which may involve an offering of securities. However, other types of units that are part of a development or project present analogous questions under the federal securities laws. Although this release speaks in terms of condominiums, it applies to offerings of all types of units in real estate developments which have characteristics similar to those described herein.

"The offer of real estate as such, without any collateral arrangements with the seller or others, does not involve the offer of a security [for certain land located outside the state of Washington this is not true, see RCW 21.20.005(12)]. When the real estate is offered in conjunction with certain services, a security, in the form of an investment contract, may be present. The Supreme Court in Securities and Exchange Commission V.W.J. Howey Co., 328 U.S. 293 (1946) set forth what has become a generally accepted definition of an investment contract.

"'A contract, transaction or scheme whereby a person invests his money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits solely from the efforts of the promoter or a third party, it being immaterial, whether the shares in the enterprise are evidenced by formal certificates or by nominal interests in the physical assets employed in the enterprise.' (298)

"The Howey case involved the sale and operation of orange groves. The reasoning, however, is applicable to condominiums.

"As the Court noted in Howey, substance should not be disregarded for farm, and the fundamental statutory policy of affording broad protection to investors should be heeded. Recent interpretations have indicated that the expected return need not be solely from the efforts of others, as the holding in Howey appears to indicate. For this reason, an investment contract may be present in situations where an investor is not wholly inactive, but even participates to a limited degree in the operations of the business. The 'profits' that the purchaser is led to expect may consist of revenues received from rental of the unit; these revenues and any tax benefits resulting from rental of the unit are the economic inducements held out to the purchaser.

"The existence of various kinds of collateral arrangements may cause an offering of condominium units to involve an offering of investment contracts or interests in a profit sharing agreement. The presence of such arrangements indicates that the offeror is offering an opportunity through which the purchaser may earn a return on his investment through the managerial efforts of the promoters or a third party in their operation of the enterprise.

"For example, some public offerings of condominium units involve rental pool arrangements. Typically, the rental pool is a device whereby the promoter or a third party undertakes to rent the unit on behalf of the actual owner during that period of time when the unit is not in use by the owner. The rents received and the expenses attributable to rental of all the units in the project are combined and the individual owner receives a ratable share of the rental proceeds regardless of whether his individual unit was actually rented. The offer of the unit together with the offer of an opportunity to participate in such a rental pool involves the offer of investment contracts which must be registered unless an exemption is available.

"Also, the condominium units may be offered with a contract or agreement that places restrictions, such as required use of an exclusive rental agent or limitations on the period of time the owner may occupy the unit, on the purchaser's occupancy or rental of the property purchased. Such restrictions suggest that the purchaser is in fact investing in a business enterprise, the return from which will be substantially dependent on the success of the managerial efforts of other persons. In such cases, registration of the resulting investment contract would be required.

"In any situation where collateral arrangements are coupled with the offering of condominiums, whether or not specifically of the types discussed above, the manner of offering and economic inducements held out to the prospective purchaser play an important role in determining whether the offerings involve securities. In this connection see Securities and Exchange Commission V.C.M. Joiner Leasing Corp., 320 U.S. 344 (1943). In Joiner, the Supreme Court also noted that:

"'In enforcement of [the Securities Act], it is not inappropriate that promoters' offerings be judged as being what they were represented to be.' (353)

"In other words, condominiums, coupled with rental arrangements, will be deemed to be securities if they are offered and sold through advertising, sales literature, promotional schemes or oral representations which emphasize the economic benefits to purchaser to be derived from the managerial efforts of the promoter, or a third party designated or arranged for by the promoter, in renting units.

"In summary, the offering of condominium units in conjunction with any one of the following will cause the offering to be viewed as an offering of securities in the form of investment contracts:

"1. The condominiums, with any rental arrangement or other similar service, are offered and sold with emphasis on the economic benefits to the purchaser to be derived from the managerial efforts of the promoter, or a third party designated or arranged for by the promoter, from rental of units."

"2. The offering of participation in a rental pool arrangement; and

"3. The offering of a rental or similar arrangement whereby the purchaser must hold his unit available for rental for any part of the year, must use an exclusive rental agent or is otherwise materially restricted in his occupancy or rental of his unit.

"In all of the above situations, investors protection requires the application of the federal securities laws.

"If the condominiums are not offered and sold with emphasis on the economic benefits to the purchaser to be derived from the managerial efforts of others, and assuming that no plan to avoid the registration requirements of the Securities Act is involved, an owner of a condominium unit may, after purchasing his unit, enter into a nonpooled rental arrangement with an agent not designated or required to be used as a condition to the purchase, whether or not such agent is affiliated with the offeror, without causing a sale of a security to be involved in the sale of the unit. Further, a continuing affiliation between the developers or promoters of a project and the project by reason of maintenance arrangements does not make the unit a security.

"In situations where commercial facilities are a part of the common elements of a residential project, no registration would be required under the investment contract theory where (a) the income from such facilities is used only to offset common area expenses and (b) the operation of such facilities is incidental to the project as a whole and are not established as a primary income source for the individual owners of a condominium or cooperative unit.

"The Commission recognizes the need for a degree of certainty in the real estate offering area and believes that the above guidelines will be helpful in assisting persons to comply with the securities laws. It is difficult, however, to anticipate the variety of arrangements that may accompany the offering of condominium projects. The Commission, therefore, would like to remind those engaged in the offering of condominiums or other interests in real estate with similar features that there may be situations, not referred to in this release, in which the offering of the interests constitutes an offering of securities. Whether an offering of securities is involved necessarily depends on the facts and circumstances of each particular case. The staff of the Commission will be available to respond to written inquiries on such matters. [Request for interpretative opinions from the Washington Securities Division should follow the procedure set out in WAC 460-16A-020.]"))



[Order 304, 460-32A-400, filed 2/28/75, effective 4/1/75. Formerly chapter 460-32 WAC.]



NOTES:



Reviser's Note: The brackets and enclosed material in the text of the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency.

Legislature Code Reviser

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office