Federal Laws & Regulations

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Articles About Federal Laws & Regulations and Community Associations

  • Westbury condo settles discrimination lawsuit (NY) August 9, 2017 A Westbury condominium complex has settled a lawsuit that challenged the building’s accessibility for disabled residents.  As a result of the settlement of the suit filed in Dec. 2015 by Long Island Housing Services, the Westbury Terrace Condominium made a few accommodations, including the installation of a buzzer system to allow all residents the ability to grant access to the building from an apartment during hours that a doorman is not on duty, as well as allowing a disabled owner ...
  • What Are FHA-Approved Condos? August 4, 2017 Federal Housing Administration condominiums are properties that can be purchased using FHA loans—or loans that are insured by the FHA. What requirements must these condos meet to be approved by the FHA? And where should you go to search for available properties? The answers to these questions and more are below!     Read the article…………….
  • HUD Releases Final Rule Related to Discrimination in Community Associations August 2, 2017 In September 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) released final regulations relating to housing discrimination, which now require community associations to investigate claims of harassment by one resident of another resident who is a member of a “protected class.” Under the Fair Housing Act, a protected class includes race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability/handicap. In the past, if an association resident harassed another association resident, the association’s board or community manager may ...
  • US Attorney Announces Settlement with Florida Condominium Complex Over Alleged FHA Reverse Mortgage Fraud August 1, 2017 On July 20, 2017, acting United States Attorney Stephen Muldrow announced a civil settlement with the owner of a Florida condominium complex over fraudulent reverse mortgage transactions. Defendant had been accused of violating the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”).    Read the article……………
  • Puerto Rico Laws Block Condos From FHA Loans June 18, 2017 Rogers told Caribbean Business, however, that condos in Puerto Rico may not be able to benefit from the easing of FHA condo financing programs because local laws have become a roadblock preventing HUD from granting the certifications.  To become certified, right now, condominium boards must submit information regarding financial reserves, insurance, budgets and numbers of renters, and a long list of other documents as well as comply with other requirements.    Read the article……………
  • 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 ...

Federal Laws & Regs Archives


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.

More on OTARD

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.

Freedom To Fly the American Flag Act

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

Read the Act

Questions and Answers regarding Accessibility Requirements for Existing Swimming Pools at Hotels and other Public Accommodations

Accessible Pools Means of Entry and Exit


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.

Latest Changes

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:

Link to search form

The CAI Guide to FHA Certification 


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