Housing Quality Standards

Housing quality standards (HQS) inspections ensure that your unit is safe and sanitary. An initial HQS inspection is required before assistance can be provided. After that, the unit will be subject to annual inspections to continue in the program.

If a unit fails the initial inspection, all failed items must be corrected prior to the subsidy being paid on the unit. If it fails an annual inspection, failed items must be corrected for the subsidy to continue. Here are the details about the HQS inspection process.

Ensure Your Unit Passes

Units sometimes fail housing inspections because landlords and tenants are not familiar with HQS requirements and/or have not assessed the condition of the unit prior to the scheduled inspection. For these reasons, the Housing Authority encourages you to conduct pre-inspections prior to the scheduled inspection. If the most commonly failed items are corrected before the inspection, the unit will have a much better chance of passing the inspection the first time.

Annual Inspections

After an apartment has been enrolled in the Housing Choice Voucher program, the Housing Program is required to inspect units at least once a year. To continue in the program, apartment units must pass the HQS inspection prior to the annual review date of the contract. In most cases, if the unit fails the inspection, the Housing Authority will allow the landlord 14 to 30 days to make the repairs. However, if the failed item is considered life-threatening, federal law requires the repair to be made within 24 hours. Additional time may be granted in cases where extensive repairs are needed.

While it is generally your responsibility to maintain an assisted unit to HUD standards, the tenant is responsible for damages the tenant causes. You may require the tenant to repair or pay for the repair of items the tenant has damaged. You would give the tenant written notice, explaining which items they are to repair and when, with a copy provided to the Housing Authority. If tenants fail to repair the damages, their Housing Choice vouchers may be terminated.

What happens if the repairs for the annual inspection are not completed?

If items that failed inspection are not repaired in the required time, the Housing Program may begin withholding housing assistance payments. The tenant cannot be held responsible for the Housing Authority’s portion of the rent. When the repairs have been made and the unit passes the final HQS inspection, the Housing Authority will resume housing assistance payments, prorated from the date of the inspection.

You can use the to help you decide if the house or apartment you own or manage is likely to meet program requirements

Click here for the full regulation: 24 CFR 982.401 Housing Quality Standards (HQS)

For the latest information on Housing Quality Standards, click here .