Recently we receved a call from a potential client interested in selling their property that consisted of 12 acres on Hawaiian Home Lands. He explained that no one would sell his property.
Mike and I mostly focus on buying and selling properties on Oahu and this property is located on the Big Island,otherwise known as the Island of Hawai'i. So I delved into learning what I could about selling Hawaiian Home Lands on the Island of Hawai'i.
I searched and found the website for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands "DHHL" scrolled down to District Operations Branch and found the following information:
West Hawaii District Office
808-887-6053 / Fax 808-887-6056
PO Box 125
Kamuela, Hawaii 96743
64-756 Māmalahoa Highway, Kamuela, HI, 96743
I proceeded to call the number and a very professional, nice, happy person named Kahikana had a wealth of information for me.
Apparently, it wasn't that no one wanted to sell the land it was that they couldn't.
Wait, I think I need to back up a bit and give a little history on what Hawaiian Home Lands is.
"In order to qualify for a new lease award on Hawaiian Home Lands, you must be at least 50% native Hawaiian, and be 18 years of age." Lessee Handbook
Therefore, in order to sell your rights to your lease the new owner must also be at least 50%. However, there has been a moratorium on any transfer of vacant land for the last two years. As of March 2017 new administrative rules have gone into affect.
The good news is that the moratorium has been lifted. The bad news is that many lease holders "lessees" may not like what the new rules mean to them when and if they decide to sell their leases.
The state has made it such that if you are selling your lease you are not selling the land but only the improvements that you may have made on the land.
When you want to transfer your lease (sell your lease in this situation) you need to submit a transfer packet provided at the website noted above with the name of the person you will be transferring the property to and any other documentation requested.
Timing can get tricky since the process to get final approval of the transfer can take anywhere between 4 to 6 months.
AND.... you must have documentation that any improvements were approved and permitted by DHHL. If you didn't then you need to submit the information as soon as possible to start the process of getting improvements approved so the transfer can take place. Highly recommend getting this done ASAP.
AND... in the transfer packet you will need to include receipts, proof of costs of the improvements, and value...
Keep in mind-
IF you only improved your property by building a fence line that cost $40,000 you will not get approval to TRANSFER your lease for $400,000.
We highly recommend checking out the website provided and asking lots of questions if you are thinking of selling DHHL property.