State & Federal Regulations


At SPAAR, we know it can be a daunting task to keep current on all the resources and studies that may affect the housing market, so we’ve compiled a list here.

NAR’s Washington Report

Minnesota Legislature Authorizes the Creation of “Temporary Health Care Dwellings”

Senate File 2555 passed both the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate and was signed into law by Governor Dayton. The official text can be viewed in Session Laws Chapter 111. Effective September 1, 2016, the bill establishes and authorizes the uses of a "Temporary Health Care Dwelling."

Independent Contractor Status in Real Estate

A recent wave of litigation is challenging the longstanding practice within the real estate industry of brokers choosing to classifying real estate agents as independent contractors, as opposed to employees. The outcome of these cases could potentially have a wide-reaching impact on the manner in which brokers have traditionally done business, and as a result, the issue of worker classification has garnered the attention and interest of NAR’s membership. However, the real estate industry is not alone, as the issue of worker classification has been raised in several industries in various jurisdictions throughout the country, and the Department of Labor has made it clear that it will aggressively pursue worker misclassification as a top priority.

FHA Condo Insurance Requirement Waiver

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has temporarily waived the blanket hazard, flood, liability and other insurance requirements in Mortgagee Letter 2011-22 for Manufactured Housing, Detached and Common Interest Housing Projects. The waiver notice, which is posted on FHA’s Condominium Mortgage insurance page, details the projects eligible for the waiver and FHA’s findings and determinations. The waiver is being granted to allow owners in these projects to obtain individual insurance policies for their units as required by state or local condominium laws and FHA requirements. FHA recognizes that requiring a blanket insurance policy for these projects can be impractical and cost prohibitive. NAR continues to work with FHA on condo policies to ease restrictions on condo sales and purchases.

What is NFIP and why is it important?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) protects Minnesota’s homeowners and REALTORS®.  Minnesota’s Realtors® must act to protect, reauthorize and modernize the National Flood Insurance Program. NFIP is a vital program for homeowners in Minnesota and is essential to the success of Realtors® locally and nationally. NFIP provides homeowners in flood-prone areas much-needed access to flood insurance coverage, which is often required to obtain a mortgage in these areas. Historically, each month that NFIP lapses, 40,000 property sales nationally – and many here in Minnesota – are at risk, threatening the ability for people to buy homes, and for Realtors® to earn a living. This fact alone should convince real estate professionals of the importance of NFIP. A successful NFIP will help protect homeowners, ensure that people can successfully buy and sell homes, and ensure Realtors® are able to earn commissions.

OMB Questions EPA Water Rule

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reportedly requested that EPA clarify whether the "significance" of a connection between smaller waterbodies and larger downstream waters marks a technical or policy issue -- echoing questions raised by a coalition of regulated stakeholders, including NAR, who are concerned that the agency may not be adequately weighing the issue as it works to clarify jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

2016 Legislative and Regulatory Priorities

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) represents over one million residential REALTORS® and commercial practitioners involved in all facets of the industry as brokers, sales agents, property managers, appraisers and counselors. As the largest professional trade association in the United States, NAR advocates policy initiatives that promote and protect a fundamentally sound and dynamic U.S. real estate market fostering vibrant communities. In 2016, NAR will be focused on the following public policy initiatives:

GSE and FHA Loan Limits Raised for 2017

On November 23, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency ("FHFA") released the 2017 conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The national conforming loan limit was raised to $424,100 while the limit in the most costly areas was raised up to $636,150. On December 1, 2016, the Federal Housing Administration ("FHA") released its 2017 Loan Limits. In high-cost areas the FHA national loan limit "ceiling" will increase to $636,150 from $625,500. FHA will also increase its "floor" to $275,665 from $271,050. The standard loan limit for lower cost metropolitan areas will increase from $271,050 to $275,665. The increases are due to a rise in housing prices across the country. Loan limits increased in 2,948 counties, loan limits remain unchanged in 286 counties and no counties faced a loan limit decrease.

Radon Licensure and Work Standards per MDH

Effective January 1, 2019, the Radon Licensing Act (MN Statutes 144.4961) is effective. The Act was passed by the legislature and signed into law in May 2015. It gives the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) the authority to write rules and enforce laws related to the radon industry in Minnesota. Professionals who measure or mitigate radon and companies that mitigate radon or perform radon lab analysis must be licensed by MDH.