If you are looking for VA Condo Approval (loans for Veterans and Active Military), we can assist you. VA condo approval is a completely different process from FHA Condo Approval. In the past, VA and FHA had a reciprocal agreement, which meant all FHA Approved communities became VA Approved. This is no longer the case, and the VA independently reviews each condominium for Approval.
The Basics of VA Condo Approval
15 – 30 Days
The process of getting VA Condo Approval generally takes 30 days or less. The reason for this processing time is their 2-step application process.
First, we send the application to the regional office and a Staff Appraiser will review it for content.
After this initial screening, the governing documents and application are scrutinized by the VA’s in house legal team for compliance.
Some regional loan centers (depending on your state) will take longer than others to approve a condo based on their workload.
Additional Attorney opinion letters are not required for VA Condo Approval because all applications are reviewed by the VA’s in-house counsel.
The cost for us to get VA Condo Approval on your behalf is $895. We will evaluate your community based on the documents provided, and let you know if we see any issues that may preclude the condominium project from becoming VA Approved. We have been very successful with our applications, and rejections are rare.
As long as the association remains compliant with the VA guidelines by not altering their governing documents, the condo will remain VA approved.
There’s no renewal, or expiration date on VA condo approval/certification.
In some instances the VA will reject a community because they are not compliant with VA guidelines.
If the association has non-complaint leasing restrictions or a right of first refusal clause, an exception may be available.
Once rejected, the Veteran can apply for a special “waiver” which would allow their loan to go through.
There is a protocol for this action, and the condo would need to be otherwise acceptable.
We can help facilitate the waiver for rejected communities. Please contact us for more information on VA rejected projects, and the waiver process.
Documents needed for VA Condo Approval
These are the basic documents required for VA Condo approval. You will need to gather the first 6 items on this list directly from the HOA or Property Management Company before we can begin the VA Condo Application process*.
- Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) aka Declarations, or Master Deed.
- Signed Bylaws for HOA
- Articles of Incorporation for HOA
- HOA Budget
- Current Financial Statements (Income Statement & Balance Sheet)
- Minutes of last 2 HOA Meetings
- Recorded Amendments for annexation (we can usually obtain these for you)
- Plat Map and/or Air Lot Survey (we can obtain these for you)
- Condominium Plans (we can usually obtain these for you)
*Residents of the HOA are legally entitled to copies of these documents in most states. The documents are available by written request to the appropriate Management Company or Board of Directors. Fees may apply.
Common Rejections for VA Condo Approval
One of the most common reasons for VA condo rejection is unacceptable leasing or rental rules in the governing documents. Approximately 10% of the condominiums we review do not meet VA rental restrictions. For instance, condominiums in the state of Florida often face rejection due to their strict leasing policies.
If you’re planning to apply for VA condo approval, it’s important to have an expert who understands the guidelines review the VA’s rental restrictions and make sure that your community’s governing documents are compliant. Contact us today to learn more about the VA condo approval process and how to avoid common pitfalls.
Leasing Restrictions in the declarations must comply with the following:
- The HOA must allow for leasing in the community
- No “Seasoning Clauses” (A restriction that requires a unit owner to occupy the unit for a specified time period before they can lease) Some circumstances with hardship clauses may be OK, but it’s case-by-case
The Board of Directors cannot have the power to:
- Approve leases or deny leasing. The unit owner must have the right to lease to any tenant
- The Board cannot Impose background checks, credit checks, or any other type of screening for prospective tenants. The unit owner may impose these checks, but not the HOA or Board of Directors. (Most of the condominiums that we review in Florida do not qualify for FHA approval for this reason.)
- UPDATE 2022: If the association has non-complaint leasing restrictions or a right of first refusal clause, an exception may be available which would allow the loan to proceed.
- Once rejected, the Veteran can apply for a special “waiver” which would allow their loan to go through.
- There is a protocol for this action, and the condo would need to be otherwise acceptable.
- We can help facilitate the waiver for rejected communities. Please contact us for more information on VA rejected projects, and the waiver process.
Why are leasing restrictions an issue for VA Condo Approval?
HOA’s individual rental practices exist to protect the community. So why does the VA care? Besides the discrimination factor, the reason is two-fold.
- Active military personnel must be able to rent their unit at a moment’s notice without further hindrance from the HOA.
- If the bank issuing a VA Insured Loan assumes the property due to default, the VA will want the property rented out in order to protect their investment.
The VA allows HOAs to include special language in their governing documents where VA loans are exempt from leasing restrictions. Make sure to include the exact language as written by the VA. Have more questions? email firstname.lastname@example.org.