FHA Minimum Property Requirements – SAFE SOUND SECURE

CedarHillFrontThe FHA does not require the repair of cosmetic or minor defects, deferred maintenance and normal wear if they do not affect the safety, security or soundness. The FHA says that examples of such problems include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Missing handrails
  • Cracked or damaged exit doors that are otherwise operable
  • Cracked window glass
  • Defective paint surfaces in homes constructed post-1978
  • Minor plumbing leaks (such as leaky faucets)
  • Defective floor finish or covering (worn through the finish, badly soiled carpeting)
  • Evidence of previous (non-active) wood destroying insect /organism damage where there is no evidence of unrepaired structural damage
  • Rotten or worn out counter tops
  • Damaged plaster, sheetrock or other wall and ceiling materials in homes constructed post-1978
  • Poor workmanship
  • Trip hazards (cracked or partially heaving sidewalks, poorly installed carpeting)
  • Crawl space with debris and trash
  • Lack of an all weather driveway surface

However, there are many areas where the FHA does require problems to be remedied in order for the sale to close. Required repairs will be limited to necessary requirements to:

• protect the health and safety of the occupants (Safety)
• protect the security of the property (Security)
• correct physical deficiencies or conditions affecting structural integrity (Soundness)

A property with defective conditions is unacceptable until the defects or conditions have been remedied and the probability of further damage eliminated. Defective conditions include:

• defective construction
• other readily observable conditions that impair the safety, sanitation or structural soundness of the dwelling

Typical conditions that would require further inspection or testing by qualified individuals or entities:

• infestation – evidence of termites
• inoperative or inadequate plumbing, heating or electrical systems
• structural failure in framing members
• leaking or worn-out roofs
• cracked masonry or foundation damage
• drainage problems

Appraisers are reminded not to recommend inspections only as a means of limiting liability. The reason or indication of a particular problem must be given when requiring an inspection of any mechanical system, structural system, etc.

The main take-away here is simple. FHA guidelines are upheld and are sometimes altered by lender overlays. ALWAYS contact the lender for details to your particular situation.

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