HUD HQS Inspection FAQ’s

Who will inspect my unit?

The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City currently employs three inspectors, one of which will perform your inspections. All the inspectors are trained and certified to conduct HQS Inspections.

How long does it take to get an initial inspection?

When a correct and complete Request for Tenancy Approval packet (RFTA) is received by the Housing Authority the caseworker will schedule the inspection. The processing of the packet and scheduling should take place within 7 days.

Do all utilities have to be turned on during the initial inspection?

It is preferred water, gas and electricity services be turned on during the scheduled inspection. HQS inspection standards check for properly operating gas and electric appliances, hot/cold water, leaks, property functioning lights and outlets, and several other areas that can only be properly tested with these 3 utilities turned on. If utility service is not available for testing at the time of the initial inspection, the PHA will allow the utilities to be placed in service after the unit has met all other HQS requirements. The PHA will reinspect the unit to confirm that utilities are operational before the HAP contract is executed by the PHA. If there are multiple units which do not have their own separate gas and electric meter dedicated directly to that unit, the landlord will have to include utilities in the rent.

Can I finish repairs or install appliances after the tenant moves in?

No. The unit needs to be “move-in” ready for the initial inspection. If there are too many fail items or if the unit is not ready for the inspection, the inspector will stop the inspection and it will not be rescheduled until notification the unit is ready.

How often will my unit be inspected?

Units are inspected before move-in and then every 12 months afterward.

How will I be notified of a scheduled annual inspection?

The inspection notice letters will be mailed approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the scheduled inspection date. Except for initial (move-in) inspections, these will be scheduled over the phone. Please keep mailing addresses and phone numbers current and send any updates or changes in writing.

Do I have to be there for the inspection?

Not for the initial inspection. It is the shared responsibility of the tenant and landlord to ensure someone over the age of 18 is present for the annual renewal inspection. After receiving the inspection notice contact the tenant to arrange for someone to be present on the day of the inspection.

What is the inspector looking for during an inspection?

There are 13 key areas covered by HQS inspections:

·         Interior Air Quality

·         Structure and Materials

·         Sanitary Facilities

·         Water Supply

·         Tenant Safety

·         Lead-Based Paint

·         Food Preparation and Refuse Disposal

·         Access

·         Space and Security

·         Smoke Alarms

·         Illumination and Electricity

·         Site and Neighborhood

·         Thermal Environment

·         Sanitary Conditions

*Additional HQS inspection resources can be found on our website.

What is the difference between HUD inspection standards and Local inspection standards?

HUD establishes the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) at a national level to be used by all housing authorities. Each Housing Authority can adopt additional inspection standards (i.e. local) once the changes are detailed in the Housing Authority’s Administrative Plan. For example, the heating system must be capable of maintaining an interior temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit between October 1 and May 1.

Will I receive a letter if the inspection passes?

No, in order to conserve resources, the Housing Authority does not mail letters for a passed inspection. The inspector will notify the participant of the pass/fail status at the end of the inspection.

If my unit fails inspection, how long will I have to make the repairs?

The second inspection will be scheduled about 2-3 weeks after the first inspection. The second inspection notice will be mailed to both tenant and landlord and will contain the complete list of failed items ant the next scheduled inspection date.

Who is responsible to fix the items that fail?

It is the shared responsibility of the landlord and tenant to address the failed items for annual inspections.  Since the inspectors do not know the original condition of the unit or the specifics of the lease agreement, a majority of failed items will be designated as owner’s responsibility. This is not meant to designate financial responsibility, but rather indicate that the owner can enforce the lease agreement when addressing the failed items. For example, if the owner is designated as responsible to address a broken bedroom door, the owner can choose to repair and pay for the door, charge the tenant for the repair or have the tenant repair the door. Either way, all failed items on the inspection results letter will need to be corrected prior to the scheduled inspection date.

What happens my unit fails inspection more than once?

A unit that fails inspection three times for the same failed items will enter abatement the first of the month following the third failed inspection. The number of same-fail items (or even if there are new-fail items found along with same-failed items) does not change the fact that the unit will enter abatement on the first day of the following month.

What does it mean when a unit is in abatement?

A unit is abated for one (1) month starting on the 1st of the month following the third and final failed inspection. During abatement the Housing Authority Payment (HAP) is withheld form the owner. The tenant is still required to pay their portion of rent but is not responsible for any of the rental portion that is withheld as long as there is a valid contract in place. Under the Housing Authority contract with the owner/landlord the payment will be withheld for a unit that is not in compliance with HQS standards (3 failed inspection). The Housing Authority cannot pay for a unit while it is not in compliance, meaning payments will only resume once the HQS inspection passes and payments will not be made retroactively. Payments will resume on a pro-rated basis beginning on the date of the passed inspection.

What is a Quality Control Inspection?

A Quality Control inspection is performed within 90 days of the identified inspection. It is a measure required by HUD in order to maintain consistency across inspectors and to identify internal training needs. Only 3% of units inspected each month are selected for a QC inspection. They are selected using a random number method. Participants and landlords cannot opt out of QC inspections.

Does the Housing Authority Conduct move-out inspections?

No, the contract ends when the tenant vacates the unit, so the Housing Authority cannot enforce the terms of the contract (i.e. inspection). Inspections are conducted in order to start a contract or when the tenant is occupying the unit under a valid contract.

What is an emergency or 24-hour fail?

There are specific items and/or conditions that HUD defines as hazardous to health and safety. If these items are identified during an HQS inspection, the inspector is required to return within 24 hours to check the status of the emergency fail item(s) only. Here is a list of the items or conditions that will result in a 24-hour failed inspection:

24-hour fail items:

·         Lack of security for unit

·         Ceiling in imminent danger of falling

·         Major plumbing leaks or flooding

·         Gas leak or fumes

·         Electrical problem that could cause shock or fire

·         No heat when weather dictates

·         Utilities turned off

·         No hot water

·         Broken glass wher it can cause injury

·         Obstacle preventing tenant entry or exit

·         No functioning toilet in the unit

·         No working smoke or CO detector on each floor

·         Any other life threatening issue cited by other agencies with jurisdiction

 

 

 

The inspector will attempt to contact the owner/agent while at the unit to inform of the 24-hour fail items and the need to return the next day. If the 24-hour fail items are not corrected by the second inspection, the unit may be abated starting the 1st of the month after the second failed inspection.