Passing the HQS Inspection
What Is The Purpose Of The Inspection?
The Housing Quality Standards (HQS) is the Federally mandated inspection requirements designed for all types of housing throughout the nation. HQS was developed to ensure that housing assisted through the HCV program is “affordable, decent, safe and sanitary”.
Units are inspected at initial move-in; annually and as needed or requested by property owner or program participant.
How Is an Inspection Scheduled?
Once the unit has been determined to meet HUD’s rent reasonableness requirements and is affordable for the family, MPHA Inspection administrative staff will contact the rental property owner by e-mail to schedule an initial inspection. Rental property owners may reschedule this inspection date once.
The unit must be vacant unless it is currently being occupied by the prospective tenant family. Property owners or a designated representative must be present at the initial inspection. The participant cannot be designated as a representative of the property owner; however, the participant can be in attendance at this inspection.
The annual inspection is scheduled with the participant, the property owner will receive notice of the date/time of the inspection. If the participant is not available they can designate another adult or the property owner to be present and allow access to the unit.
What If A Unit “Fails” The Inspection?
If the unit does not pass the HQS Initial inspection, the property owner may elect to make the repairs or withdraw the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA). If MPHA does not receive a request for a re-inspection within 30 days of the initial failed inspection, MPHA will with draw the RFTA. If the owner elects not to make the repairs, the family must choose another unit to receive assistance. MPHA cannot enter into the Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP) until the unit passes the HQS inspection, a 1year executed lease agreement has been submitted and approved, and the participant has possession of the unit.
If the participant is in possession of the unit prior to the assistance start date, the FULL contract rent is the responsibility of the participant family.
If the unit fails the Annual HQS inspection due to property’s owner failure to repair or participants violations of HQS standards, both parties will receive a copy of the failed inspection report.
What Is an Abatement?
HUD Regulations states that the PHA shall not make any housing assistance payments if the contract unit does not meet the HQS, unless the owner corrects the defect within the period specified by the PHA and the PHA verifies the correction. If a defect is life threatening, the owner must correct the defect within no more than 24 hours. For other defects, the owner must correct the defect within the period specified by the PHA.
This means that the rent will be prorated for the period of time from the failed inspection until MPHA receives verifiable documentation of the completion of the needed repairs. This may require an additional physical inspection. No payment will be made for the abated period.
If the PHA determines that the owner is not entitled to the housing assistance payment or any part of it, the PHA, in addition to other remedies, may deduct the amount of the overpayment from any amounts due the owner (including amounts due under any other Section 8 assistance contract).
For a list of commonly failed items, Click Here
MPHA’s policies for inspections and HQS can be found in Chapter 8 of the Section 8 HCV Administrative Plan.