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Are handrails required for stairs?

Discussion in 'FHA/HUD and VA' started by Bill Featherstone, Nov 20, 2008.

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  1. David S. Roberson

    David S. Roberson Senior Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    4
    Jan 16, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Tennessee
    What about this one I looked at today? Surely you can't say this doesn't need a rail?
     

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  2. Michael Tipton

    Michael Tipton Senior Member

    0
    Sep 25, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Does it comply with local building codes without handrails? Pictures and comments would be included in a report should I encounter the condition you observed in the photograph.
     
  3. Greg Bell

    Greg Bell Senior Member

    0
    Jul 7, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
    State:
    Louisiana
    David.....Safety issue , handrail is required...
     
  4. Mr Rex

    Mr Rex Elite Member

    85
    Jan 12, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    North Carolina

    Frequently Asked Questions
    Valuation Protocol​

    These FAQs are issued to clarify or illustrate FHA’s appraisal reporting requirements and applicability on
    valuation issues.​
    Content updated January 24, 2007​

    3. It was stated that handrails and trip hazards are cosmetic. I don't understand! Wouldn’t these items be health and safety issues?​
    The appraiser must always be mindful of health and safety issues and report what is readily observable. The missing handrails or trip hazards are property conditions that no longer require ​
    automatic repair for existing properties but should be reported by the appraiser. In these instances, lender discretion and prudent underwriting will determine whether or not a repair is advisable. For example, a stairwell or staircase comprised of eight (8) or nine (9) risers without a handrail would probably pose a safety risk.

     
  5. Don Clark

    Don Clark Elite Member

    3
    Jan 17, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Virginia
    I disagree. It is a SAFETY issue. I would rather have a DEU scream at me than someone break their neck and sue me. Even FHA wants us to use common sense.
     
  6. Don Clark

    Don Clark Elite Member

    3
    Jan 17, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Virginia
    I would require handrails.....and a safety net:rof:
     
  7. angdw

    angdw New Member

    0
    Mar 9, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    North Carolina
    I agree...FHA no longer requires handrails and should not be listed a required repair; however, I would include a comment, regarding the missing handrails as a potential safety hazard in the condition section of the report.
     
  8. incognito

    incognito Senior Member

    0
    Jul 14, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    I stand by my prior advice.
    Michael, Don, Mr. Rex, Craig, and others, I recognize you are doing what you think is correct (and I respect that), but I feel more comfortable doing what FHA tells me is correct:

    Regarding code, FHA states in 4150.2:
    HUD has neither the authority nor responsibility for enforcing code. This rests with the local municipalities.

    Code has nothing to do with minimum FHA requirements. If it did, no house over 1-2 years old would qualify, because code changes so often!


    2005-48 clearly states:
    Lenders should use professional judgment and rely upon prudent underwriting practices in determining when a property condition poses a threat to the safety of an occupant and/or jeopardizes the soundness and structural integrity of the property, such that additional inspections and/or repairs are necessary.

    HUD goes on the state:
    ... the LENDER must read the report, ascertain if any conditions require repairs or inspection, and require immediate repair or inspection where the property condition poses a threat to the above criteria (safety of the occupants or the security and soundness of the property).

    Want to believe it or not, 4150.2 and ML 2005-48 ARE scope requirements. Accept the job, and perform the scope. FHA wants the APPRAISER to do (and be responsible for) certain things, and wants the LENDER to do (and be responsible for) certain things.

    Even IF you do call for a legitimate repair, FHA states :

    The appraiser is to note those repairs necessary to make the property comply with FHA’s Minimum Property Requirements (MPR) or Minimum Property Standards (MPS) together with the estimated cost to cure. The lender will determine which repairs for existing properties must be made for the property to be eligible for FHA-insured financing.

    I think EVERYONE is agreeing that missing handrails should be reported. I think the degree to which it is a safety hazzard should be reported. I even think a recommendation to the lender that repair be required is indicated, BY THE LENDER. However, FHA no longer sees missing hand rails as a condition that the appraiser calls for mandatory repair. I think it is pretty clear from the quotes I have provided that it is up to the LENDER to make the call!
     
  9. Mr Rex

    Mr Rex Elite Member

    85
    Jan 12, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    North Carolina
    nito, thats what my post says, and it is from FHA. Appraiser reports it, lender makes the call on whether to call for repair.
     
  10. Hamlet

    Hamlet Elite Member

    0
    Aug 14, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Ohio
    :rof::rof::rof:
     
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