B-179973, APR 8, 1975, 54 COMP GEN 841

B-179973: Apr 8, 1975

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PROPERTY - PRIVATE - ACQUISITION - RELOCATION EXPENSES TO "DISPLACED PERSONS" - NO ENTITLEMENT TENANTS WHOSE LANDLORDS EXERCISE THEIR LEGAL RIGHT TO GAIN POSSESSION OF PREMISES AND THEN LEASE PROPERTY TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR TO FEDERALLY ASSISTED ENTITY IN OPEN MARKET TRANSACTION WITHOUT THREAT OF CONDEMNATION MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED "DISPLACED PERSONS" AND HENCE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO BENEFITS OF UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE AND REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICIES ACT OF 1970. GOVERNMENT'S OBTAINING OF LEASEHOLD INTEREST IN OPEN MARKET TRANSACTION IS NOT AN "ACQUISITION OF SUCH REAL PROPERTY" CAUSING TENANTS TO VACATE THE PREMISES WITHIN MEANING OF SECTION 101(6) OF THE ACT. ARE AVAILABLE TO TENANTS OF A BUILDING WHICH HAS BEEN RENTED BY THE GOVERNMENT ON THE OPEN MARKET WITHOUT CONDEMNATION OR THE THREAT OF CONDEMNATION.

B-179973, APR 8, 1975, 54 COMP GEN 841

PROPERTY - PRIVATE - ACQUISITION - RELOCATION EXPENSES TO "DISPLACED PERSONS" - NO ENTITLEMENT TENANTS WHOSE LANDLORDS EXERCISE THEIR LEGAL RIGHT TO GAIN POSSESSION OF PREMISES AND THEN LEASE PROPERTY TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR TO FEDERALLY ASSISTED ENTITY IN OPEN MARKET TRANSACTION WITHOUT THREAT OF CONDEMNATION MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED "DISPLACED PERSONS" AND HENCE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO BENEFITS OF UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE AND REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICIES ACT OF 1970. GOVERNMENT'S OBTAINING OF LEASEHOLD INTEREST IN OPEN MARKET TRANSACTION IS NOT AN "ACQUISITION OF SUCH REAL PROPERTY" CAUSING TENANTS TO VACATE THE PREMISES WITHIN MEANING OF SECTION 101(6) OF THE ACT.

IN THE MATTER OF RELOCATION ASSISTANCE IN OPEN MARKET LEASE TRANSACTIONS, APRIL 8, 1975:

AT THE SUGGESTION OF THE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REQUESTED OUR VIEWS AS TO WHETHER THE BENEFITS OF THE UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE AND REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICIES ACT OF 1970 (RELOCATION ACT), PUBLIC LAW 91- 646, JANUARY 2, 1971, 84 STAT. 1894, 42 U.S.C. SEC. 4601 (1970 ED.), ARE AVAILABLE TO TENANTS OF A BUILDING WHICH HAS BEEN RENTED BY THE GOVERNMENT ON THE OPEN MARKET WITHOUT CONDEMNATION OR THE THREAT OF CONDEMNATION.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER INDICATES AN INCLINATION TO THE VIEW THAT SUCH TENANTS ARE ENTITLED TO BENEFITS AFFORDED BY THE RELOCATION ACT. SHORTLY THEREAFTER WE RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR AND GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE ADMINISTRATION (LEAA), DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, INDICATING A CONTRARY POINT OF VIEW. TO ASSIST US IN RENDERING A DECISION IN THIS MATTER WE REQUESTED THE VIEWS OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) AND, AT THE SUGGESTION OF THE INTERAGENCY RELOCATION ASSISTANCE IMPLEMENTING COMMITTEE, WE ALSO REQUESTED THE VIEWS OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, THE SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION. WE RECEIVED REPLIES FROM THE ACTING GENERAL COUNSEL, GSA, AND FROM THE DIRECTOR OF REAL ESTATE, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, TAKING THE POSITION THAT SUCH PERSONS ARE NOT COVERED BY THE RELOCATION ACT AND REPLIES FROM THE ACTING GENERAL COUNSEL OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND FROM THE GENERAL COUNSEL, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, EXPRESSING THE VIEW THAT SUCH PERSONS ARE COVERED.

AS DESCRIBED IN THE SUBMISSION, THE FACTS OF THE PARTICULAR CASE INVOLVED ARE:

THE PARTICULAR CASE BEFORE US AROSE IN CLEVELAND, OHIO, WHERE THE DIRECTOR OF JOB CORPS, ACTING UNDER AUTHORITY DELEGATED BY THE SECRETARY OF LABOR AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 602M OF THE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACT, RENTED A BUILDING LOCATED AT 10660 CARNEGIE AVENUE FROM HOUSING ASSOCIATES, INC., A WHOLLY-OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY. THE PURPOSE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S LEASE WAS TO OBTAIN A NEW SITE FOR THE CLEVELAND JOB CORPS CENTER, WHICH IS OPERATED BY A WOMEN'S SORORITY UNDER A COST-REIMBURSEMENT CONTRACT WITH THE LABOR DEPARTMENT.

THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT CONDEMN THE PROPERTY OR MAKE ANY THREAT OF CONDEMNATION. RATHER IT OBTAINED THE BUILDING BY RESPONDING TO AN OFFER FROM THE LESSOR WHO WAS MAKING THE PROPERTY AVAILABLE ON THE OPEN MARKET. THE LABOR DEPARTMENT HAD NO DIRECT DEALINGS WITH THE PROCESS MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY, WHICH IS THE CLAIMANT, OR WITH ANY OF THE NUMEROUS OTHER TENANTS IN THE BUILDING.

THE CLAIMANT ADVISES THAT IT (AND PRESUMABLY THE OTHER TENANTS) WAS GIVEN NOTICE BY ITS LANDLORD TO MOVE BECAUSE THE BUILDING HAD BEEN RENTED TO THE GOVERNMENT. CLAIMANT HAD A MONTH-TO-MONTH LEASE, AND ADVISES THAT IT HAD BEEN A TENANT IN THE BUILDING FOR 22 YEARS AND INTENDED TO REMAIN INDEFINITELY. IT FURTHER ADVISES IT SOUGHT AND OBTAINED THE HELP OF A RELOCATION ADVISORY ASSISTANCE SERVICE AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 205(A) OF THE ACT, AND THEREBY FOUND NEW PREMISES AT 3091 MAYFIELD ROAD, ALSO IN CLEVELAND, TO WHICH IT HAS MOVED AND WHERE IT IS NOW CONDUCTING BUSINESS. THE COMPANY HAS SUBMITTED ITS BILL FOR $2,318.03 TO COVER MOVING EXPENSES.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER TENANTS OF A BUILDING WHICH HAS BEEN RENTED TO THE GOVERNMENT IN AN OPEN MARKET TRANSACTION, WITHOUT CONDEMNATION OR THREAT THEREOF, ARE ENTITLED TO THE VARIOUS BENEFITS PROVIDED BY THE RELOCATION ACT. TO BE ELIGIBLE ONE MUST QUALIFY AS A "DISPLACED PERSON." A "DISPLACED PERSON" AS DEFINED IN PERTINENT PART BY SECTION 101(6) OF THE ACT, 42 U.S.C. SEC. 4601(6), IS ANY PERSON "WHO, ON OR AFTER JANUARY 2, 1971, MOVES FROM REAL PROPERTY, OR MOVES HIS PERSONAL PROPERTY FROM REAL PROPERTY, AS A RESULT OF THE ACQUISITION OF SUCH REAL PROPERTY, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, OR AS THE RESULT OF THE WRITTEN ORDER OF THE ACQUIRING AGENCY TO VACATE REAL PROPERTY, FOR A PROGRAM OR PROJECT UNDERTAKEN BY A FEDERAL AGENCY, OR WITH FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE ***." THE CRUCIAL LEGAL ISSUE IS WHETHER, IN SITUATIONS WHERE A TENANT'S LEASE (OR PERIOD OF OCCUPANCY) IS NOT RENEWED BY HIS LANDLORD SO THAT THE LATTER MAY ENTER INTO A LEASE OF THE PREMISES WITH THE GOVERNMENT, THERE HAS BEEN AN "ACQUISITION" OF THE PROPERTY BY THE GOVERNMENT WHICH DISPLACES THAT PERSON.

THE ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF ENTITLEMENT CENTER LARGELY AROUND THE BASIC CONGRESSIONAL PURPOSE, EXPRESSED IN SECTION 201 OF THE RELOCATION ACT (42 U.S.C. 4621), THAT ALL PERSONS REQUIRED TO MOVE FROM BUILDINGS BECAUSE A PUBLIC FACILITY WOULD REPLACE THEM SHOULD BE REIMBURSED IN ORDER THAT "SUCH PERSONS SHALL NOT SUFFER DISPROPORTIONATE INJURIES AS A RESULT OF PROGRAMS DESIGNED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC AS A WHOLE." THE RELOCATION PROVISIONS (TITLE II) OF THE ACT TURN SOLELY ON THE ACQUISITION OF AN INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY BY A FEDERAL OR FEDERALLY ASSISTED PROGRAM OR PROJECT DESIGNED TO BENEFIT THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND, IT IS ARGUED THAT THE OBTAINING OF A LEASEHOLD CONSTITUTES THE ACQUISITION OF AN INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY.

IN COMMENTING ON THE DEFINITION OF "DISPLACED PERSON" AND THE THEN UNITED STATES POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT'S OPTION PROCEDURE, THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS STATED:

(3) THE TERM "DISPLACED PERSON" MEANS ANY PERSON WHO, ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT, MOVES FROM REAL PROPERTY, OR MOVES HIS PERSONAL PROPERTY FROM REAL PROPERTY AS A RESULT OF THE ACQUISITION OF SUCH REAL PROPERTY, OR AS THE RESULT OF THE WRITTEN NOTICE OF THE ACQUIRING AGENCY OR ANY OTHER AUTHORIZED PERSON TO VACATE SUCH PROPERTY, FOR A PROGRAM OR PROJECT UNDERTAKEN BY A FEDERAL AGENCY, OR BY A STATE AGENCY WITH FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. IF A PERSON MOVES AS THE RESULT OF SUCH A NOTICE TO VACATE, IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHETHER OR NOT THE REAL PROPERTY ACTUALLY IS ACQUIRED.

IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER THE REAL PROPERTY IS ACQUIRED BEFORE OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE BILL, OR BY FEDERAL OR STATE AGENCY; OR WHETHER FEDERAL FUNDS CONTRIBUTE TO THE COST OF THE REAL PROPERTY. THE CONTROLLING POINT IS THAT THE REAL PROPERTY MUST BE ACQUIRED FOR A FEDERAL OR FEDERAL FINANCIALLY ASSISTED PROGRAM OR PROJECT. FOR EXAMPLE:

(B) POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WITNESSES BEFORE THE COMMITTEE CALLED ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT ALTHOUGH THE DEPARTMENT'S CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS INVOLVE ABOUT 1,000 BUILDINGS ANNUALLY, THE POSTAL BUILDING PROGRAM, AS SUCH, ACCOUNTS FOR ONLY A FEW CONSTRUCTION STARTS EACH YEAR. OCCASIONALLY, THE DEPARTMENT ACQUIRES THE SITE AND TRANSFERS IT TO THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER FOR CONSTRUCTION AND LEASE BACK TO THE DEPARTMENT. MOST CASES, HOWEVER, BUILDING SITES ARE OBTAINED THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT'S LEASING AUTHORITY. USUALLY, THESE SITES ARE CONTROLLED THROUGH AN OPTION PROCEDURE WITH TITLE NEITHER VESTING IN OR PASSING THROUGH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. INSTEAD, THE OPTION IS ASSIGNED TO A SUCCESSFUL BIDDER WHO BECOMES THE OWNER OF THE LAND, AND THE DEPARTMENT'S LONG-TERM LESSOR. SOME OF THESE SITES ARE FOR LARGE POSTAL FACILITIES TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN METROPOLITAN AREAS WHERE THE ONLY AVAILABLE AND SUITABLE LAND IS OCCUPIED BY NUMEROUS LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES, AND BY SMALL BUSINESSES.

IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO A PERSON REQUIRED TO MOVE BECAUSE OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF A POSTAL FACILITY WHICH METHOD THE POSTAL AUTHORITIES USE TO OBTAIN THE FACILITY, OR WHO ACQUIRES THE SITE OR HOLDS THE FEE TITLE OF THE PROPERTY. SINCE THE END RESULT IS THE SAME, A FACILITY WHICH SERVES THE PUBLIC AND IS REGARDED BY THE PUBLIC AS A PUBLIC BUILDING, ANY PERSON SO REQUIRED TO MOVE IS ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THIS LEGISLATION. REPT. NO. 91-1656, 91ST CONG., 2D SESS. 4-5 (1970).

THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NOTES:

THE GOVERNMENT TAKING OF A LEASEHOLD INTEREST IN A PARCEL OF REALTY CERTAINLY CONSTITUTES AN ACQUISITION OF THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO OCCUPY ALL OF THE REALTY FOR A TERM OF YEARS. WHILE NO REFERENCE IS MADE IN THE ACT TO "TITLE" TO REALTY, NOTHING IN THE LANGUAGE OR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THIS ACT WOULD APPEAR TO JUSTIFY DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN TENANTS REQUIRING TO MOVE OUT BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNMENT MOVING IN, MERELY ON THE BASIS OF THE QUANTUM OF TITLE BEING ACQUIRED BY THE FEDERAL AGENCY OR BY A STATE AGENCY WITH FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. THE EFFECT ON THE TENANT IS THE SAME IN ANY EVENT ***.

HE AND OTHERS POINT OUT THAT THE RELOCATION ACT ENCOURAGES ALL ACQUISITIONS TO BE MADE BY NEGOTIATION AND THE AVOIDANCE OF CONDEMNATION WHENEVER POSSIBLE AND THEY SUGGEST THAT THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT THE BENEFITS TO DISLOCATED PERSONS DEPEND UPON WHICH METHOD OF ACQUISITION IS USED.

THIS POSITION HAS SOME SUPPORT IN THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS' REPORT ON H.R. 104881, 92D CONG., WHICH IN AMENDED FORM BECAME THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS AMENDMENTS OF 1972, PUBLIC LAW 92-313, JUNE 16, 1972, 87 STAT. 216. WHILE NOT ENTITLED TO BE CONSIDERED AS "LEGISLATIVE HISTORY" OF THE RELOCATION ACT, SINCE IT WAS ISSUED WELL AFTER THE ACT WAS ENACTED, IT IS OF INTEREST IN CONSIDERING THIS MATTER. THE REPORT STATES IN PERTINENT PART:

RELOCATION ASSISTANCE

THE COMMITTEE EMPHASIZES THAT THE BROAD RANGE OF RELOCATION BENEFITS MANDATED BY THE UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE AND REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICIES ACT OF 1970 (P.L. 91-646, 84 STAT. 1894), IS AVAILABLE FOR PERSONS DISPLACED AS THE RESULT OF PURCHASE CONTRACTS AND LEASE CONSTRUCTION AGREEMENTS TO THE SAME EXTENT AS IF DISPLACED FOR GSA PUBLIC BUILDINGS CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS UNDER THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ACT OF 1959, OR OTHER FEDERAL PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS. THE UNIFORM RELOCATION ACT WAS ENACTED AS A HUMANITARIAN PROGRAM THAT WOULD RELIEVE THE IMPACT OF FORCED MOVES ON PERSONS DISPLACED AS THE RESULT OF ACTIVITIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND FEDERALLY AIDED ACTIVITIES OF STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO A PERSON REQUIRED TO MOVE AS THE RESULT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S NEED FOR SPACE WHICH METHOD THE GOVERNMENT MAY USE TO OBTAIN THE SPACE. IF, IN FACT, A PERSON IS REQUIRED TO MOVE AS THE RESULT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S ACQUISITION TO HIM. THE COMMITTEE DID NOT INTEND TO, AND INDEED IT DID NOT, EXEMPT THE ACTIVITY, THE PROVISIONS OF THE UNIFORM RELOCATION ACT ARE APPLICABLE TO ANY GSA LEASING PROGRAM ACTIVITY FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT. THE UNIFORM RELOCATION ACT IS REMEDIAL LEGISLATION AND COMPREHENSIVE IN SCOPE. THE COMMITTEE INTENDS THAT THE ACT BE ADMINISTERED IN THE SPIRIT OF THE CONGRESSIONAL OBJECTIVE TO TRANSLATE THAT BROAD AUTHORITY INTO EQUITABLE AND SATISFACTORY CONDITIONS FOR THE PEOPLE AFFECTED. H. REPORT NO. 92- 989, 92D CONG., 2D SESS. 9-10 (1972).

HENCE, AT THAT TIME WHILE SPEAKING SPECIFICALLY TO PURCHASE CONTRACTS AND LEASE CONSTRUCTION AGREEMENTS THE HOUSE PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE SEEMED TO INDORSE THE APPLICATION OF THE ACT TO ANY DISPLACED TENANTS IN THE UNDERSCORED PORTION.

THE PROPONENTS OF THE VIEW THAT THE ACT DOES NOT APPLY IN THE SUBJECT SITUATIONS SET FORTH SEVERAL ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF THEIR OPINIONS. THEY POINT OUT THAT A DECISION FAVORABLE TO THE CLAIMANTS WOULD HAVE A VERY SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON GOVERNMENT (AND FEDERALLY ASSISTED) LEASING PROGRAMS. FOR EXAMPLE, IN FISCAL YEAR 1973, GSA ENTERED INTO OVER 1,800 LEASES IN BOTH EXISTING BUILDINGS AND NEW BUILDINGS, EITHER CONSTRUCTED SPECIFICALLY FOR LEASE TO THE GOVERNMENT (LEASE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS) OR CONSTRUCTED FOR RENTAL IN THE OPEN MARKET. LEAA STATES THAT OVER A 2 YEAR PERIOD, LEASES WERE ENTERED INTO BY STATE PLANNING AGENCIES (I.E., LEAA GRANTEES) WHICH REQUIRED THE RELOCATION OF 115 BUSINESSES, 63 FAMILIES, TWO FARMS AND NINE NONPROFIT CORPORATIONS. IT ESTIMATES THAT IF THE RELOCATION ACT WAS APPLICABLE, ABOUT 1 MILLION DOLLARS IN RELOCATION COSTS MIGHT HAVE BEEN INCURRED.

IT IS FURTHER NOTED BY GSA THAT AN INTERPRETATION FAVORABLE TO THE CLAIMANTS WILL NECESSITATE A MAJOR MODIFICATION OF EXISTING PROCEDURES BY WHICH SPACE IS LEASED FOR USE BY FEDERAL AGENCIES. PRESENTLY LEASES ARE AWARDED TO THOSE PROPOSING TO FURNISH SPACE MEETING THE GOVERNMENT'S MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS AT THE LOWEST COST. HOWEVER, IT IS STATED THAT IF RELOCATION PAYMENTS ARE TO BE MADE, IT WILL GENERALLY NOT BE POSSIBLE TO DETERMINE WHICH OFFERS WOULD BE THE LOWEST IN COST SINCE RELOCATION COSTS COULD NOT BE DETERMINED UNTIL WELL AFTER AWARD, AT WHICH TIME ELIGIBILITY IS ESTABLISHED AND CLAIMS CONSIDERED. THIS WOULD APPEAR TO PLACE LANDLORDS WITH OCCUPIED PROPERTIES - EVEN IF THEY OFFER THE LOWEST BID OR HAVE THE MOST DESIRABLE PROPERTIES - AT A COMPETITIVE DISADVANTAGE WITH RESPECT TO THOSE WITH NEWLY CONSTRUCTED BUILDINGS OR BUILDINGS VACANT BY CHANCE.

IT IS FURTHER CONTENDED THAT THE CONGRESS DID NOT INTEND THE RELOCATION ACT TO COVER MERE SUCCESSION IN TENANCY. GSA NOTES THAT PRIOR TO ENACTMENT OF THE ACT, SECTION 112 OF THE SENATE PASSED VERSION OF S.1, 91ST CONG., 1ST SESS., DEFINED THE TERM "REAL PROPERTY" TO INCLUDE ACQUISITION OF ANY INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY, WHICH WOULD HAVE INCLUDED A LEASEHOLD INTEREST. GSA OBJECTED TO THE DEFINITION AND SUGGESTED THE SECTION BE AMENDED SPECIFICALLY TO EXCLUDE LEASEHOLD INTERESTS ACQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER VOLUNTARY AGREEMENTS WITH PRIVATE PARTIES. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES EXTENSIVELY AMENDED S.1 AND DELETED THE PROPOSED DEFINITION ENTIRELY. WITH THIS BACKGROUND GSA CONTENDS THAT, HAD THE CONGRESS WISHED COVERAGE TO EXTEND TO THE SUBJECT CLASS OF CASES, IT COULD (AND WOULD) HAVE EITHER RETAINED THE DEFINITION OR SPECIFICALLY SO PROVIDED. WHATEVER THE MERITS OF THIS POSITION THE FACT REMAINS THAT LANGUAGE INITIALLY INCLUDED IN S.1 WOULD HAVE COVERED LEASEHOLD INTERESTS AND, AS FINALLY ENACTED, DID NOT.

FLOOR STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND OTHER PORTIONS OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE RELOCATION ACT ARE ALSO FREQUENTLY CITED BY BOTH LEAA AND GSA TO INDICATE THAT THE CONGRESS DID NOT INTEND TO HAVE THE ACT APPLY TO SUCCESSION IN TENANCY SITUATIONS.

TAKING THE STATUTE AND ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY TOGETHER, WE TEND TO AGREE WITH THIS POSITION. SECTION 101(6) REQUIRES THERE TO BE AN "AQUISITION OF SUCH REAL PROPERTY." AN ACQUISITION IS GENERALLY, THOUGH NOT EXCLUSIVELY, THOUGHT OF AS ACCOMPLISHED BY TRANSFER OF TITLE. THE BILL WAS DISCUSSED AND CONSIDERED IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE PUBLIC'S "TAKING" OF PRIVATE LANDS, THROUGH CONDEMNATION OR THE THREAT THEREOF. SEE, FOR EXAMPLE, SENATOR MUNDT'S STATEMENT AT 115 CONG. REC. 31534 (1969); CONGRESSMAN CLEVELAND'S SPEECH AT 116 CONG. REC. 40169 (1970); AND THE STATEMENT OF THE MANAGER OF THE BILL ON THE SENATE FLOOR, SENATOR MUSKIE, AT 116 CONG. REC. 42137 (1970). ALSO OF DIRECT IMPORTANCE IS THE REPORT OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS, H. REPORT NO. 91-1656 (1970), QUOTED IN PERTINENT PART ABOVE, IN WHICH THE COMMITTEE STATES THAT THE LEGISLATION WAS INTENDED TO APPLY TO LEASE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS OF THE KIND UNDERTAKEN BY THE FORMER POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. NO REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE TYPE OF LEASE TRANSACTION WHERE THE GOVERNMENT BECOMES A TENANT BY SUCCESSION. AS GSA STATES:

*** OBVIOUSLY, IF CONGRESS INTENDED THAT ALL LEASE TRANSACTIONS SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE ACT, IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN NECESSARY, AS INDICATED IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY, TO DRAW THE SINGULAR PROJECT DISTINCTION AS BEING THE LEASE CONSTRUCTION TYPE. FURTHER, WE BELIEVE THAT THE OMISSION OF ANY REFERENCE TO LEASE TRANSACTIONS, OTHER THAN LEASE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS, WAS NOT INADVERTENT.

FURTHER, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT PERSONS LEASING PROPERTY TO THE GOVERNMENT ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS, WITHOUT THREAT OF COERCIVE ACTION, DO SO BECAUSE IT IS TO THEIR ADVANTAGE, FINANCIALLY OR OTHERWISE. WHILE THE TENANTS WHOSE LEASES ARE NOT RENEWED ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO MAKE SUCH A CHOICE, THE LESSOR MAY NOT REQUIRE THEM TO VACATE THE PREMISES IN THE ABSENCE OF A LEGAL RIGHT TO OBTAIN POSSESSION THEREOF.

HENCE, BASED ON OUR READING OF THE STATUTE AND ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AS WELL AS THE OTHER FACTORS DISCUSSED ABOVE, WHEN A LESSOR EXERCISES HIS LEGAL RIGHT TO POSSESSION IN ORDER TO LEASE THE PROPERTY VOLUNTARILY TO THE GOVERNMENT, WE DO NOT FEEL THAT THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE SAID TO HAVE MADE AN ACQUISITION OF REAL PROPERTY WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE RELOCATION ACT. THIS, OF COURSE, IS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT FROM THE SITUATION WHERE THE GOVERNMENT, REGARDLESS OF OUTSTANDING LEASE AGREEMENTS, ACQUIRES THE LEASEHOLD INTEREST BY EMINENT DOMAIN OR THE THREAT THEREOF.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS OUR POSITION THAT TENANTS WHOSE LEASES ARE NOT RENEWED OR WHOSE TENANCIES FROM PERIOD TO PERIOD (I.E., MONTH TO MONTH TENANCIES, ETC.) ARE TERMINATED BY THEIR LANDLORD IN ORDER THAT THE PREMISES MAY BE LEASED TO THE GOVERNMENT (OR TO A FEDERALLY ASSISTED ENTITY) IN AN OPEN MARKET TRANSACTION, WITHOUT THREAT OF CONDEMNATION, ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE RELOCATION ACT INASMUCH AS THEY WERE NOT REQUIRED TO VACATE BY EITHER A WRITTEN ORDER OF THE GOVERNMENT OR BY THE ACQUISITION, AS THAT TERM IS USED IN THE RELOCATION ACT, OF THE PROPERTY BY THE GOVERNMENT.