New Uniform Act Regulations Taking Effect June 3, 2024

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The regulations in 49 CFR Part 24 implementing 42 USC Ch. 61, generally known as the "Uniform Act," are being updated for the first time since 2005.
United States Real Estate and Construction
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The regulations in 49 CFR Part 24 implementing 42 USC Ch. 61, generally known as the "Uniform Act," are being updated for the first time since 2005. New regulations are set to take effect on June 3, 2024 (the "Rule"). We will be discussing specific aspects of the new Rule in future posts. Please contact us with any specific questions in the meantime.

In general, the new Rule provides that caps on certain benefits, limits on waiver valuations and conflict of interest have increased. Cost of living adjustment will be allowed to increase maximum waiver and benefit levels over time. Persons and businesses now become eligible for most benefits if they occupy the displacement property for 90 days rather than the 180 days necessary under the existing Rule. Temporarily displaced persons or businesses will be entitled to relocation benefits not available to them previously. Tenants displaced by voluntary acquisitions may be eligible for benefits. The new Rule also addresses reverse mortgages for the first time.

Important procedural changes include the ability of owners to designate a representative to receive notices on their behalf. Owners may also elect to receive notices electronically. A provision allowing for electronic signatures was added. The use of services other than the US Postal Service will be permitted. These changes will make the process more efficient for both the owners and the agency.

The Rule further states that waiver valuations are not appraisals under the Uniform Act or the Rule, and sets forth the qualifications of persons who may perform the waiver analysis. Persons preparing or reviewing a waiver valuation are precluded from complying with Standards Rules 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

Some other notable additions include rules applicable to persons displaced from or moving into replacement dwellings falling under various government housing programs and subsidies; a requirement that agencies "must honor" local standards regarding lead paint and paint dust abatement with respect to any determination that a dwelling is decent, safe and sanitary; and that a decent safe and sanitary replacement dwelling must meet "the most stringent" local housing code, Federal agency regulations, or the agency's written regulations or policy.

We will be following-up with additional details about the new Rule in future posts. In the meantime, the Federal Highway Administration is hosting a webinar on May 21, 2024 at 09:30 am. Those interested can register here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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