HUD REAC Releases New REAC Compilation Bulletin (4.0 V3)
Updated REAC Rule Manual Effective October 2, 2017
Are you ready for some changes to REAC? More changes are on the way from HUD REAC! The much anticipated new version of the REAC/UPCS Compilation Bulletin (HUD REAC Compilation Bulletin, 4.0 V3) is about to be released by the HUD Real Estate Assessment Center.
The official, updated protocol is scheduled to be released from HUD and go into effect on October 2, 2017, and US Housing Consultants was able to get a firsthand look at the impending updates and changes in the new version.
This new version of the REAC Compilation Bulletin is a daunting ninety-five page of densely worded clarifications and new changes, guidelines and specific updates for all REAC inspections. Many of the changes and updates appear to be a consolidation of the recent HUD Inspector Notices as well as the UPCS Guidance and Protocol Clarification Guide and Lead-Based Paint updates that were issued within the last few years. HUD has compiled those changes as well as adding some new guidelines and clarifications in this new version.
Integrating Non-Industry Standard Rules to Standard Procedures
The majority of the updates, guidelines, and examples appear to be related directly to the recent Industry Standard Repairs Requirements that were added last year. HUD has added more specific explanations and more detailed guidelines along with general examples and, for the first time — pictures. Adding pictures with the updates provides some level of clarification to the new Non-Industry Standard (NIS) changes and should clarify some of the confusion the new standards have caused.
Here are some highlights from the updated Compilation Bulletin 4.0 – Version 3.
Call For Aide Cords
Since the inception of UPCS, there has never been a specific proximity or height requirement for Call-For-Aid (pull cords), in the new version they now have the ‘correct length’ required to be at “baseboard” height.
A significant portion of the document clarifies how to HUD REAC will now handle buildings that are connected as a single structure but are in fact different “buildings”. This will be now handled as separate buildings, instead of handling all single structures as a single building. This is a terrific change for property owners, as it greatly impacts the HUD REAC scoring.
Brick Wall Damage
The following was added, “Minor Chipping of brick wall corners should no longer be considered a deficiency.” Presumably, this is saying that minor chipping to bricks at the corner of the building is now not to be considered “spalling”.
Windows and Other Items Too High Off Floor to Test
Windows that are more than 8 feet in height are no longer required to be tested for proper operation; instead, the inspector is to perform a visual verification of the item. In the past, the requirement was to have management get a ladder and test a double-hung window more than 8 feet in height in a stairwell and demonstrate the operability to the REAC inspector. Now the inspector is to view the window from the floor and inspect as best possible for visual damage.
Items that are more than 8 feet in height that are no windows that cannot be tested by management are now to be cited as a deficiency. For example, if there is a smoke detector on a ceiling that is more than 8′ in height, and management cannot reach the item to test it; the REAC inspector is required to simply record as a deficiency.
Other REAC Rule Updates
- Inspectors are now specifically not allowed to enter dwelling units prior to 9 AM and after 6 PM.
- Vegetation found to be growing on buildings, such as moss or weeds growing in gutters should be cited as “SIte -Overgrown Vegetation”
- Foundation Vents: It has been clarified for inspectors that “Foundation Vents” are not part of the UPCS Inspection Code.
- Bed Bugs: If the inspector visually verifies a bed bug infestation (i.e. sees the bed bugs) he/she should cite “Infestation – Insects”, if it is merely suspected, it should continue to be “Hazards -Other”.
- Flammable Items: It is clarified that flammable items in their original canister that are near a combustible source should be cited as an issue, such as hair spray that is stored near an open flame or an outlet.
- Trip hazards that are observed on a walkway or driveway that are NOT owned by the property, such as a city-owned walkway, are now to be recorded as HAZARDS-OTHER, which is way to record and acknowledge the issue but it will remain a non-scoring issue (i.e. Hazards – Other is zero points).
- There is a peculiar update that includes the following “If a property has fencing along its perimeter acting as a security/safety fence (4′ in height or more), whether it is owned by the property or not, the fencing must be inspected for deficiencies. This does not apply to non-security/non-safety perimeter fencing (less than 4′ in height).” This update appears to imply that even if the fence is owned by an entity other than the property, that REAC will cite the issue as a deficiency if the fence is more than 4′ in height.
Overall…there are important changes that HUD made to all of the inspectable areas of the new version of the UPCS Protocol. We will be adding new articles of the Score in the coming weeks as clarifications are added to this update. We suspect that there will be changes to the document before the effective date, as there were a number of grammatical and spelling errors in this document.