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Housing Quality Standards


Housing Quality Standards – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Housing Quality Standards

Housing Quality Standards
  • Understanding Failed Inspections

Mastering the Basics
  • Documentation
  • Understanding FAIL Items
  • Procedure Updates

What is the Point of HQS?
  • Decent, Safe Sanitary
  • Health Safety Criteria -No negotiating-Fail
    items must be corrected verified
  • Decency Suitability Criteria -May be tenant
    choice-May use Pass w/ comment to address

Why Comply with HQS?
  • Protect Families
  • Standards ensure that Federal dollars are not
    spent on inadequate housing
  • Standards also ensure an adequate supply of
    rental housing is available
  • Failure to comply may result in monetary
    sanctions against SHHP

The Task of HQS Inspections
  • Each unit must be inspected thoroughly
  • A lease and HAP Contract may not be signed before
    a unit has passed inspection
  • All determinations must be adequately documented
    and in the tenants file
  • Documentation must include actual number of
    bedrooms, age of unit, quality of unit,
    amenities, location
  • The information should support the determination
    of rent reasonableness

The HQS Checklist
  • Long Form has detailed explanations
  • Short Form for the experienced inspector
  • Encourages consistency in evaluation and
    determination of pass/fail items from unit to
  • Always complete the entire form, no items should
    be omitted

Make sure to fill out the booklet in its entirety
Inspection Types
Initial Inspection
  • Either a New Admission or a Move
  • Before tenant moves in (unless a new admission is
    renting in place)
  • Occurs only when the unit is ready
  • MUST PASS prior to the execution of a lease HAP

If you lease voucher within 30 Days you receive
Annual Inspections
  • Must be completed at least once every 365 days
  • Is marked as a re-inspection on the HQS
  • Does not have to coincide with Annual

Annual HQS Inspections6/1/07 3/1/08
Other Inspections
  • Special - Results from a 3rd party such as HUD
    needing to view a unit
  • Complaint Results from a complaint from any
    source regarding the units condition
  • Emergency - Takes place when there is a perceived
    emergency, generally w/in 24 hours
  • Quality Control Supervisory inspections of a
    number of units based on HUD regulations
  • All are marked as Special inspections on the

Inspection Equipment
  • Circuit Tester
  • Flashlight
  • Measuring Tape
  • Clipboard
  • Checklist forms
  • Pocket Thermometer
  • Pointer/dowel
  • Screwdriver
  • Spare standard face plates/outlet covers
  • Spare 9 volt batteries
  • A camera
  • Sanitizing wipes/gel or surgical gloves
  • Small towel or paper towels

General Requirements
  • Rules Policy

Owner Responsibilities for HQS
  • Defined in the HAP Contract, Lease Lease
  • Must maintain the unit to Housing Quality
    Standards make repairs promptly
  • Failure to maintain may result in abatement of
    the assistance payment or termination of the HAP
  • Not Responsible for Tenant caused breaches of HQS

Tenant Responsibilities for HQS
  • Keep the unit in a safe sanitary condition
    during the term of the lease
  • Advise the owner when repairs are needed
  • Be responsible for tenant-caused damage
  • Pay any utilities that the owner is not required
    to pay for per the lease
  • Cooperate with SHHP your agency in
    accomplishing inspections

Tenant Caused Breaches of HQS
  • Failure to pay utilities that are the familys
    responsibility per the lease
  • Failure to provide/maintain appliances not
    supplied by the owner (Stove /or Refrigerator)
  • Damage to the unit beyond normal wear tear
    caused by a household member or guest

Determinations of Pass/Fail the Checklist
  • If one element fails, the entire unit fails
  • Pass with Comment The checklist provides
    space to notate items of concern that are not
    serious enough to fail under HQS or that are
    items of tenant preference
  • The checklist should also be used to comment on
    needed repairs or other conditions that affect
    value for rent reasonableness purposes

Inconclusive may be the answer
  • If you cannot observe an element, such as a water
    heater under a house, you must mark it
  • Inconclusive is not a Pass, and must therefore be
    treated as a FAIL
  • To resolve an inconclusive finding, the
    landlord must provide a certification from a
    knowledgeable professional that the item has been
    inspected is in good working order

  • You are not required to crawl under houses but
    you must check crawl spaces for obvious problems
  • You will not usually need to go up on a roof, it
    may be marked unobserved
  • However, evidence of problems must be investigated

203 Failed Inspections10/1/07 3/15/08
Days Until Unit Passed
19 going beyond the initial 30 days
  • Assessing Failed Items

Determining Room Location
  • Orient on the front door, as if standing outside
    looking at the front entrance of the unit
  • Right/Left right, left or center of the unit
  • Front/Rear back, front or center of unit
  • Floor Level the floor the unit is located on
  • These directions help in communicating which room
    contains deficiencies

Space Standards What Each Unit Must Have
  • A living room
  • Kitchen area
  • Bathroom
  • At least one sleeping or living/sleeping room for
    every two persons
  • Location size of rooms are tenant preference

Electricity and Security
Is it a fail?
  • If electric service is not on for a new
    admission, you may check inconclusive if the bill
    will be in the residents name but it is a fail
    if the landlord will be paying the bill
  • Electricity must be turned on in order to test
    appliances, lights outlets
  • No electricity at a annual inspection is a FAIL

Common Fail RatingsElectrical
  • Broken or frayed wires
  • Exposed or bare metal or copper wires
  • Loose or improper wire connection to an outlet or
    improper splicing of wires
  • Light fixtures hanging from electrical wire/cord
    w/ no other firm support
  • Missing or cracked switch/outlet cover plates
  • Exposed fuse box connector/connections or missing
  • Overloaded circuits electrocution fire hazard
  • Overloaded circuits

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Electrical HazardsContinued
  • Rubber or plastic coated wire mounted on an
    exterior surface (wall or ceiling) in manner that
    may result in brakes, cuts or other damage
  • Lamp cord used as a permanent part of the
    electrical system
  • Non-working outlets
  • Electrical cords that run under rugs or other
    floor coverings
  • Improper connections, insulation or grounding of
    any part of the electrical system
  • Wire laying in or located near standing water or
    too near where water might splash

Common Fail Ratings Security
  • No locks on windows or doors accessible from
  • Double-sided keyed deadbolt locks
  • Dowel rods used in windows or sliding door
    threshold as lock/stopper

Fail Ratings for WindowsSevere Deterioration
  • Missing or broken panes
  • Dangerously loose, cracked panes
  • Accessible windows that cannot be locked
  • Windows without a tight seal, allowing serious
    drafts into the unit

Window Conditions that rate a Pass with Comment
  • Minor cracks in a window pane where there is no
    cutting hazard
  • Splintered sills
  • Minor rotting of the window frame
  • Missing putty that results in loose panes but
    there is no danger of the pane coming out

Tenant Preferences Inspection Tips
  • Cracked panes of glass are a tenant preference
    unless they are a potential safety hazard or
    cause drafts
  • Screens the tenant decides if the screens, or
    lack of, meet their needs
  • Always be clear which window you are describing
  • Become familiar with types of windows, some
    terminology how to make basic, minor repairs
    such as installing weather stripping replacing

Good documentation is a must to back up any
decision you make!
General Room Standards
Living Rooms Kitchens Bathrooms
Common Fail RatingsLiving Room
  • Inoperable electrical outlets
  • Cracked face plates
  • Short in wiring
  • Doors/Windows accessible from outside do not lock
  • Damaged carpet or tile causing tripping hazard

Common Fail RatingsKitchens
  • Stoves
  • Burners not operable
  • Covered in grease
  • Refrigerator
  • Does not keep correct
  • temperature
  • Sink
  • Inoperable garbage disposal
  • Leak in plumbing

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Hot Plates are not acceptable as sole cooking
Common Fail Ratings Bathrooms
  • Toilets
  • Lack of water supply
  • Constantly runs
  • Clogged or malfunctioning mechanisms in water
  • Basins
  • Not permanently attached to wall or floor
  • Lack of cold and hot water
  • Severe leaks or lack of gas trap
  • Showers/Tubs
  • Low water pressure
  • Slow drain
  • Damage to grout or seals
  • Excessive Mold

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Common Fail RatingsBedrooms
  • Windows
  • Do not open/painted shut (if only one)
  • Do not lock and accessible from outside
  • Walls Floors
  • large holes
  • Tripping hazards (carpet coming up, etc)
  • Tack strip exposed presenting cutting hazard
  • No smoke detectors

Common Fail RatingsOther Rooms Used for Living
  • Basic electrical safety standards
  • Inoperable outlets, no cover plates, etc
  • Entrance halls
  • Doors accessible from outside not secure
  • Floors
  • Tripping hazards

Potential Hazards Secondary Rooms
  • Hazards may include
  • Unstable stairs
  • large holes in floors/walls/ceilings
  • evidence of imminent structural collapse
  • seriously deteriorated windows/doors, protruding
  • Frequency of use e.g. basement stairs with no
    railing - how often is it really used?
  • Control of access A room which can be closed
    off/locked would reduce risk to the resident

Heating and Plumbing
  • HVAC Water heaters Plumbing Sewer

What is Adequate?
  • Compare the size of the system to the area to be
  • System must be capable of maintaining temp over
    period of time
  • Portable space heaters are not adequate
  • Heat is not required in secondary rooms

Common Fail RatingsHeating Equipment
  • Potential for fire
  • Escaping gases
  • Fuel tank storage not raised off the floor
  • Unprotected fuel lines
  • Presence of combustibles around the furnace
  • Inadequate source of clean air return
  • Leaks in radiators
  • Un-vented fuel space heaters (kerosene, oil, etc)

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Common Fail RatingsWater Heaters
  • Combustible materials are
  • piled up around the heater
  • Gas leaks
  • Cracked or broken vent
  • pipes and flues
  • No temperature-pressure relief valve and
    discharge line

NO PRV drain pipe
Plumbing Sewer
  • Water and Plumbing
  • Unit must be connected to approvable public or
    private system
  • For private (ie. Wells) discuss with owner
    whether the well has been tested in the past
  • Sewer
  • Unit must be connected to approvable public or
    private system
  • For private (ie. Septics) discuss with owner to
    make sure it meets local code and health standards

Building Exterior
  • Foundation Stairs/Rails Roofs/Gutters

Stairs, Porches Railings
  • The condition and equipment of exterior stairs,
    porches, walkways, etc., must not present a
    danger of tripping or falling
  • Stairs which lead to the unit but are not
    physically attached to the building are also
    included in HQS
  • Porches 30 inches off ground require a railing
  • General Rule
  • If you have reached the 4th step and are still
    outside of the unit, there must be a railing

Common Fail Ratings forRoofs Gutters
  • Damaged gutters which created excessive pooling
    of water on or around foundation
  • Interior damage to ceilings or walls
  • Serious buckling or sagging
  • Large holes or defects which allow water or air
    to enter unit
  • Missing/damaged shingles
  • Missing flashing

General Health Safety
  • Housekeeping
  • Infestation
  • Refuse Disposal
  • Common Halls/Areas
  • Interior Air Quality
  • Neighborhood Conditions
  • Smoke Detectors

Handling Housekeeping
  • Always focus on the HQS Standards
  • Evaluate housekeeping only if decent/safe/sanitary
    conditions are affected
  • Housekeeping issues may be addressed 1 of 4
    ways-Trip Hazards-Fire Hazards-Health/Safety-

  • Serious Infestation determination should be
    made whether unit is free from rats or severe
    infestation by mice and vermin
  • Note areas where inadequate barriers exits which
    could lead to infestation
  • Tenant may decide whether minor problems such as
    occasional roaches or mice would effect their
  • Bedbugs Verification that landlord sprayed for
    bedbugs will be sufficient to PASS unit

Debris/Refuse Disposal
  • Heavy Accumulation large piles of trash, garbage
    and discarded furniture and debris
  • Accumulation that cannot be picked up by an
    individual within one or two hours
  • Adequate facilities
  • Covered trash cans
  • Dumpsters
  • Garbage chutes

Fail Ratings for Neighborhood/Common Areas
  • Other buildings on the property that appear
    dilapidated or un-kept and pose a hazard to the
  • Fire hazards
  • Abnormal air pollution or smoke which persists
    throughout the year
  • Proximity to open sewage

Smoke Detectors
  • Each unit must have at least one battery-operated
    or hardwired smoke detector
  • One per level of the unit including the basement
  • Installed outside of each separate sleeping area
    in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms

SD cont.
  • In new construction there must be a smoke
    detector in each sleeping room
  • Hardwired detectors must be on an un-switched
    portion of branch circuit or on a separate branch
  • Hearing impaired
  • Must be placed in the bedroom
  • Must have a visible signal

HQS Reporting Procedures
  • Reporting Passes Fails

Annual/Special HQS ProceduresPasses
  • Within 365 days of previous inspection
  • Landlords are encouraged the attend
  • SHHP sends 120 day notice of annual inspection to
    tenant, owner agency
  • Inspection Appointment Letter
  • Notification of completed inspection to SHHP w/in
    3 days

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Annual/Special HQS ProceduresFails
  • A Fail on an annual inspection is still an annual
    inspection must be reported to SHHP immediately
  • No Entry/No Show count as annual HQS, and puts
    the unit in Fail status Tenant Fail
  • Copy of Failed HQS Memo to tenant, owner SHHP
  • SHHP sends Fail Letter to landlord, tenant and HC
    indicating failed items, timeframe allowed for
    repairs, and future abatement
  • SHHP will pursue contract termination
  • if fails are not resolved

When filling out fail items please indicate fail
not how to fix it
Emergency Fails
  • Emergency 24 hour repair
  • See SHHP Administrative Plan - No water, no
    electricity, inability to maintain adequate heat
    in winter, Natural Gas leaks, unusable toilet
    (when only one), more
  • Notify SHHP immediately of the 24 hour fail.
  • Copy of Failed HQS Memo to tenant, owner and SHHP

  • Abatement Suspension of HAP Assistance
  • SHHP will begin HAP Abatement for all HQS fails
    that remain in fail status beyond the
  • Abatement begins the 1st of the month post
    24hr/30 days
  • Re-instatement of HAP once fail is resolved
  • If unit remains in fail status beyond the
    Abatement period, SHHP will send Termination of
    HAP letter
  • SHHP cannot abate for tenant caused fails

Re-Inspection for Fails
  • Two ways to verify Pass Status
  • Physical re-inspection
  • Landlord provides documentation/receipts that
    repairs were made.
  • If landlord provides documentation, they must
    also submit Failed HQS Memo indicating time and
    status of repairs

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HQS Caused HAP Termination
  • HAP Contract termination effective 1st of the
    month following the Abatement period
  • SHHP Termination of HAP letter sent to owner,
    tenant and RC
  • Tenant given options based on term of HAP
  • Remain in unit w/o assistance
  • Re-lease once unit passes HQS
  • Move

HQS Incentive
  • All required inspections per reporting quarter
    must be complete to receive incentive for HQS
  • Tenants who are scheduled to move and Annual HQS
    is approaching
  • If they are still in unit, you must do HQS
  • If they have moved out of unit, and Annual
    Re-exam and Annual HQS are approaching, process
    an Annual Re-exam Searching.

Incentive at Work HQS Inspections
75 on time
98 on time
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