Is an attic inspection required for FHA?

The Appraiser must observe the interiors of all attic spaces.   The Appraiser is not required to disturb insulation, move personal items, furniture, equipment or debris that obstructs access or visibility. If unable to view the area safely in their entirety, the Appraiser must contact the Mortgagee and reschedule a time when a complete visual observation can be performed, or complete the appraisal subject to inspection by a qualified third party.

In cases where access through a scuttle is limited and the Appraiser cannot fully enter the attic, the insertion of at least the head and shoulders of the Appraiser will suffice.   If there is evidence of a deficient condition (such as a water-stained ceiling, insufficient ventilation, or smell of mold), the Appraiser must report this condition, and render the appraisal subject to inspection and repairs if necessary.  

If there is no access or scuttle, the Appraiser must report the lack of accessibility to the area in the appraisal report. There is no requirement to cut open walls, ceilings or floors.  An observation performed in accordance with these guidelines is visual and is not technically exhaustive. 

For additional information see Handbook 4000.1 II.D.3.k. at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/administration/hudclips/handbooks/hsgh


All policy information contained in this knowledge base article is based upon the referenced HUD policy document. Any lending or insuring decisions should adhere to the specific information contained in that underlying policy document.


Topic Number: KA-04173