Under the terms of the FHA, there are very strict guidelines that you should be aware of. These guidelines are related to what does and doesn’t have to be present and it all comes down to whether or not the appliances are ‘built-in’ or ‘portable’.
A built-in appliance is one that is quite literally built-in to the kitchen such as a built-in stove, microwave or dishwasher for example. Built-in appliances that are considered Real Property MUST be present and operational.
A portable appliance is one that can easily be removed and as such is the personal property of the owner. This would cover a portable dishwasher with wheels or counter-top microwave for example.
You can see now why it is important to check what is present and what will need to remain within the property after sale.
Any built-in appliances must be in good working order and pose no health and safety threat to either the house or the residents within. You should always turn them on and check that they are working as they should in order to be compliant with FHA regulations.
There are also specific rules in relation to dishwashers and refrigerator that you should be aware of:
Dishwashers – FHA has made it a mandatory requirement to have a fully functional dishwasher in place if there is plumbing for one. So, unless it is an older property, it is very likely that this requirement will apply and this is the one that quite often catches folks out.
Refrigerator – Against popular opinion, a refrigerator is not required under FHA. In fact, it is not even a FHA requirement to have the space for one! Of course, it makes sense to make sure that the space is available but it is not a stipulation.
Although there are specific guidelines covering various aspects of the kitchen, the best thing to do is to ensure that the kitchen is fully functioning without any health and safety issues.
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