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Federal Laws & Regulations

/ Owner - June 20, 2012

Articles About Federal Laws & Regulations and Community Associations

  • HUD Charges Hawaii Condominium Association, Management Company, Condominium Unit Owners, and Real Estate Agent with Disability Discrimination December 20, 2023
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging individuals and entities associated with a Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, condominium complex, including the condominium association, employees of the condominium association, the property management company, an employee of the property management company, the condominium unit’s owners, and the owners’ real estate broker with discriminating against a resident because of disability. Read HUD’s Charge.   Read the article……………………………..
  • Federal Housing Administration Proposes New Enhancements to Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program November 16, 2023
    Allowing outstanding homeowner’s association dues to be included in the calculation of a repayment plan for borrowers who are behind on their HECM financial obligations;   Read the article……………………………..
  • Feds Seek to Enhance HECMs for Senior Homeowners November 4, 2023
    The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has is seeking industry feedback on a set of proposed policy updates to its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program designed to improve program stability and to respond to changing market conditions……….(inc.) Allowing outstanding homeowner’s association dues to be included in the calculation of a repayment plan for borrowers who are behind on their HECM financial obligations.        Read the article………………………………..
  • Website Accessibility: The ADA and FHA July 27, 2023
    In recent years, and trending more frequently as of late, we have heard about businesses, big and small, receiving demand letters related to their website accessibility, alleging ADA noncompliance, and threatening to file suit and seek damages on behalf of the people with disabilities they represent. Here we will cover what web accessibility means and is required and by whom under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA).   Read the article………………………..
  • FHA-approved condos: What they are and how they work June 3, 2023
    FHA-approved condos may seem like a no-brainer. They allow you to build equity without having to maintain a home or property. FHA-approved condos are also especially appealing to first-time home buyers, since the credit score and downpayment requirements are often considerably lower than most conventional mortgages.   Read the article………………………..
  • Is Your Condo on Fannie Mae’s Blacklist? Listed Communities Face Big Problems Borrowing May 31, 2023
    As has been widely reported lately, Fannie Mae, which is under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has developed a secret blacklist of condominiums, HOAs and co-ops that are ineligible for “conventional financing”, i.e. loans that can be sold on the secondary market. It will be difficult for owners in these blacklisted condominiums to either sell or refinance their units.   Read the article………………………..
  • Be Aware Of Potential Disparate Impact Discrimination Claims In Your Association (MI) March 24, 2023
    In community association administration, disparate impact claims can arise when a seemingly neutral policy or practice has a disproportionate negative impact on a group protected by fair housing laws. For example, communities occasionally ask us whether they can restrict the number of people that live in a property based on the number of bedrooms.    Read the article………………………..
  • How to Get on the FHA Condo Approval List March 24, 2023
    If you want to buy a home but the down payment requirements make this seem out of reach, there are more affordable options. Choosing an FHA-approved condo allows you an easier option to buy with lower credit and down payment requirements.   Read the article………………………..
  • New Announcement by HUD Means More Options for Flood Insurance November 23, 2022
    All community association boards want to be good stewards of the funds collected from their homeowners. Sometimes, when finances are tight, a board has to face hard choices about how to reduce costs. That might mean reducing services or even deferring needed maintenance for a period of time where that maintenance is not essential to safety or structural integrity. As with all contracts, boards want to find the insurance that best suits their community and offers the best protection—at the ...
  • HUD charges California condo operators with disability discrimination October 6, 2022
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has charged the operators of a 556-unit, high-rise condominium tower located in Long Beach, Calif., with discriminating against a homeowner because of disability by refusing to provide her a permanent parking space to accommodate her wheelchair-accessible van.   Read the article………………………..

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)


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

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

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