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Articles About Federal Laws & Regulations and Community Associations
- Why Condo Associations Need FHA Approval in 2017 April 18, 2017 Prior to 2005, few condominium boards paid much attention to Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, financing. At the time, the FHA only had a small fraction of condominium loans (about 5 percent) and FHA buyers, due to smaller down payment requirements, were considered less committed to their purchased units. A lot has changed since then. The FHA is now one of the largest underwriters for condominium mortgages, with FHA mortgages accounting for up to one in three new loans in ...
- Trump Administration Overturns Obama’s FHA Mortgage-Fee Cut January 20, 2017 Soon after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, his administration undid one of Barack Obama’s last-minute economic-policy actions: a mortgage-fee cut under a government program that’s popular with first-time home buyers and low-income borrowers. The new administration on Friday said it’s canceling a reduction in the Federal Housing Administration’s annual fee for most borrowers. The cut would have reduced the annual premium for someone borrowing $200,000 by $500 in the first year. Read the article……………
- Should your Condominium Association be VA Certified? (MI) January 5, 2017 One out of every 11 citizens in Michigan is a veteran and may receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA may help service-members, veterans, and certain qualified surviving spouses of service-members and veterans become homeowners through a home loan guarantee benefit whereby the VA guarantees a portion of the loan. Read the article………….
- HR3700-affected condo rules in 90-day comment period December 22, 2016 New rules on condominiums affected by HR3700 (The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016) that must make them eligible for the Federal Housing Administration insurance are now in the 90-day comment period, according to Mortgage News Daily. Read the article………….
- FHA Condo Certification Rule Awaits Review by Trump Administration December 17, 2016 The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently issued its long-awaited proposed rule regarding standards for condominiums in which individual unit owners are eligible to obtain FHA-insured loans. However, final action awaits review by new housing agency officials in the Trump Administration. Mortgages backed by the FHA allow borrowers to make a lower down payment and have less stringent financial qualification criteria than conventional mortgages. Of the estimated 150,000 condominium nationwide, fewer than 10,000 are certified for FHA-insured loans. Read the ...
- New FHA Owner Occupancy Requirements Could Benefit Some Condo Communities December 2, 2016 A few months ago we informed you that both houses of Congress voted unanimously to pass the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) which, in part, required FHA to lower the required percentage of owner occupied units in condominiums from 50% to 35% unless FHA could prove that a higher percentage of owner occupancy was justified. FHA continues to maintain the position that condominium projects where at least 50% of the units are occupied by owners as their primary residence ...
- New HUD Neighbor to Neighbor Discrimination Regulations Impact Community Associations December 2, 2016 On September 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) released final regulations that change how the Federal Fair Housing Act (“Act”) is applied to quid pro quo and hostile environment housing claims within community associations. The new rules, some of which went into effect on October 14, 2016, affect what community associations are expected to do in situations where neighbor to neighbor harassment occurs within the community. Under the new regulation, community associations may be liable ...
- FHA Reforms Bringing New Risks as Well as Rewards November 28, 2016 Now that President Obama has signed Federal Housing Administration condominium reforms into law, it is time to make a clear-eyed assessment of the risks and rewards that HR 3700 will bring. It’s great that Congress has acted to ease regulations that made FHA condo loans more difficult to get. But are the proposed rules being discussed during the current comment period the best way to do this? There might still be opportunities for adjustments to provide greater insight into these ...
- New FHA Certification Guidelines to Land Soon, Ending a 5-Year Holding Pattern November 26, 2016 On June 30, 2011, the Condominium Project Approval and Processing Guide (“Guide”) was published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). The Guide was designed to provide Federal Housing Administration (“FHA) condominium project approval processing requirements. Since June 30, 2011, a handful of Mortgagee Letters from HUD have provided small changes to the Guide, but for the most part, the processing requirements contained in the Guide have been in a “holding pattern” for the last 5 years. ...
- Change to the FHA “10% to Reserves” Rule? November 10, 2016 FHA approval is a status condo associations can attain, allowing unit owners/buyers to receive FHA insurance on their loans which make those loan more attractive to lenders. Depending on your location, as much as 30% – 40% of all residential loans are for people who enjoy FHA insurance. Without your association on the FHA’s “approved” list, you are instantly reducing the buyer pool for units at your association by a significant fraction. If your association is FHA-approved, significantly more buyers ...
Installing Consumer-Owned Antennas and Satellite Dishes
In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules for Over-the-Air-Reception Devices (“OTARD” rules). The OTARD rules prohibit restrictions on a property owner or tenant’s right to install, maintain or use an antenna to receive video programming from direct broadcast satellites (DBS), broadband radio services (formerly referred to as multichannel multipoint distribution services or MMDS) and television broadcast stations (TVBS). However, there are exceptions to the OTARD rules, including provisions for safety and preservation of historic areas. The FCC later amended the OTARD rules to apply to rental property where the renter has exclusive use of an area, and to customer-end antennas that receive and transmit fixed wireless signals.
Service and Comfort Animals
Revised ADA Regulations Implementing Title II and Title III (Comfort and Service Animals)
Pet Ownership for the Elderly and Persons With Disabilities; Final Rule
Freedom To Fly the American Flag Act
On July 24, 2006, President Bush signed into law “The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act.” This act ensures that all Americans, including those living within the jurisdiction of homeowners and condominium associations, will be able to exercise their right to display the United States flag, the symbol of our nation’s freedom, at their homes.
Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool And Spa Safety Act (VGBA) is a United States law named after the daughter of Nancy and James Baker and the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker III. Graeme Baker died in a tragic incident in June 2002 when the suction from a spa drain entrapped her under the water.
The goals of the Act were to enhance the safety of public and private pools and spas, to reduce child drownings, to reduce the number of suction entrapment incidents, injuries and deaths; and to educate the public on the importance of constant supervision of children in and around water.
The Dept. of Justice has granted an extension for existing pools to comply with the new ADA Standards for providing accessible entry and exits. The DOJ’s Q&A attempts to answer questions regarding whether your pool shall require accommodations. Check with your attorney to determine the current status of the Act and how it can impact your association
FHA Condominium Mortgage Insurance
As authorized with the passage of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) implemented an approval process for condominium projects and insurance requirements for mortgages on individual units, under Section 203(b) of the National Housing Act.
The new approval process and insurance requirements were put into action with Mortgagee Letter 2009-46b and was effective for all case numbers assigned on or after December 7, 2009, except as noted in the mortgagee letter.
The program insures a loan for as many as 30 years to purchase a unit in a condominium building–which must contain at least two dwelling units and can be detached or semi-detached, a rowhouse, a walk-up, or an elevator structure.
The loan is made by a lending institution, such as a mortgage company or bank and is insured by HUD’s Federal Housing Administration.
This has been a total mess with constant changes and proposed changes. Trying to keep up with it here would be impossible. We’ll provide the basic information, but you really need to your attorney to deal with this appropriately.
Is Your Condominium Association FHA Certified?
The Condominiums page allows users to search for FHA-approved condominium projects by location, name, or status. These properties are not for sale by the FHA. The search can be configured to find specific types of projects through the use of the pull-down menus and entry fields. Detailed help is available online or contact the Single Family Administrator. Please note: It is not necessary to enter information into every field. The less information entered, the larger the resulting list. Enter only the criteria (full/partial) that you know to be correct or helpful in streamlining your list to your needs:
HUD: Reasonable Modifications Under The Fair Housing Act
The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) are jointly responsible for enforcing the federal Fair Housing Act (the “Act”), which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, and disability. One type of disability discrimination prohibited by the Act is a refusal to permit, at the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises. HUD and DOJ frequently respond to complaints alleging that housing providers have violated the Act by refusing reasonable modifications to persons with disabilities. This Statement provides technical assistance regarding the rights and obligations of persons with disabilities and housing providers under the Act relating to reasonable modifications. Read More……PDF