Category Archives: National

Federal – HUD Issues Guidance on Use of Criminal Records by Housing Providers

Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions

Last week (April 4, 2016), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued official guidance about how the discriminatory effects and disparate treatment methods of proof apply in Fair Housing Act cases in which a housing provider justifies an adverse housing action – such as a refusal to rent or renew a lease – based on an individual’s criminal history.

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National – Standardized Condominium Project Questionnaires Released by FHFA, FNMA and Freddie Mac

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Last week, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae released standardized Condominium Project Questionnaire forms.

According to Freddie Mac’s website, “The new forms provide greater consistency and clarity for lenders as they work to collect information to determine eligibility for mortgages secured by units in condominium projects.”

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National – Vigilance is Key in Addressing Abandoned Lots and “Zombie” Mortgages

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Although statistical data shows the battle against zombie mortgages (A property becomes a zombie when a creditor initiates foreclosure and the homeowner vacates then home.  When the creditor fails to complete the foreclosure, title to the real property remains with the original homeowner, leaving the ownership “half dead” and “half living”) is being won nationwide, abandoned lots, vacant units and zombie properties continue to have negative impacts on communities throughout the United States (unkempt proprties, maintenance issues, rodents, unpaid assessments and lack of community spirit).

Through vigilance, community associations can effectively address conditions caused by these zombie properties.

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National – Will the Market Dictate Continued Livestock Restrictions?

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Last week I retweeted a link from the Urban Land Institute’s twitter page about the increase in the number of “agrihoods.”  And, although we have seen an increase in farming and gardening amenities, we have not seen a shift from pet restrictions – many restrictive covenants still prohibit animals other than orderly, domestic pets.

Real estate developers have been slow to embrace livestock in their restrictive covenants.  An article from Realtor.com (link after the jump) may explain why…

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