This week, Pleasant Hills Condominiums in South Windsor, CT, was approved with FHA to become the tenth condominium (out of 32) to be approved in the town.
And it only took one month…and four years. Let me explain...
Just over four years ago, I attended a Board meeting for Pleasant Hills to discuss getting their approval with FHA. I was met with staunch adversity from one of the Board members. The next day, the property manager notified me that the Board did not vote to hire me.
However, about a month later, the property manager called me to notify me that the Board had voted to hire me. As it turns out, the adversarial Board member had been replaced and the remaining members of the Board, along with the new member, decided to hire me.
I worked with the property manager to gather all of the necessary paperwork and submitted it to FHA only to have it rejected because the By-laws were neither recorded nor signed. I asked the property manager to have a member of the Board sign the By-laws or have the document recorded at town hall.
[Note: FHA allows a current member of the Board to sign the By-laws to signify that the document provided is that which is in effect. There is no “funny business” going on here.]
Instead, the property manager notified me that the Board had decided to rewrite the By-laws to comply with the new legislation in Connecticut. As it turns out, the Association restated the By-laws and the Declaration, a process which took about 18 months.
During this time, I worked with the property manager to approve several other condominiums that she managed. All the while, I would inquire as to the status of Pleasant Hills.
Also during this time, the Association was hit with a slip-and-fall lawsuit. This type of litigation is VERY common to condominiums and they have liability insurance to cover such suits. Thus, this type of pending litigation is not typically a detriment to the condominium’s approvability but the Board decided to hold off until the litigation had been resolved.
While waiting for the completion of the litigation, the Fire Marshall in town decided to inspect condominium projects for violations of the new fire code. Many of the projects in the town, including Pleasant Hills, were required to update their facilities to meet the new fire code. I know of another condominium project that has spent well in excess of $300,000 to update fire escapes and sprinkler systems to meet the new code.
In March, the new property manager (with the same reputable property management company) contacted us to move forward with the FHA condo approval.
As is standard with his company, he promptly provided to us the documents that we requested and was responsive to our additional requests for paperwork.
Once we obtained the financial statements from the accountant, we submitted the file mid-April and FHA approved the project on the initial submission.
By NO MEANS is this a typical scenario, as illustrated above, and this is the longest period of time that we have worked with a condominium to obtain an FHA condo approval.
The property manager was thrilled to have received the good news so quickly (remember, he only contacted us in March).
I was especially relieved to be able to archive this beat-up, coffee-stained, ratty manila folder with the tab reading “Pleasant Hills”.
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos.net
The Condominium Project Approval Team at ReadySetLoan is dedicated to helping condominium projects across the nation to obtain their approvals with FHA and the VA or become recertified with FHA. We have assisted nearly 200 condominiums and we can help your association.
ReadySetLoan is an active member of the Connecticut and New England chapters of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and is a frequent contributor to Common Interest Magazine as an expert in FHA/VA condominium project approvals.
Please contact us with any questions regarding FHA or VA condominium project approvals. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 404-433-4565. I will be happy to answer any of your questions.
FHA/VA Condo Approval Specialist
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Check out our article in Common Interest magazine on page 19!