What Is The Purpose Of The Inspection?
A unit must be inspected by MPHA to:
- Ensure the unit meets Federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
- Document the condition of the unit at the time assistance begins.
How Is an Inspection Scheduled?
MPHA Inspections will contact the rental property owner to schedule an initial inspection of the unit if the unit meets affordability. Rental property owners will be given an opportunity to reschedule the inspection date.
At the initial inspection, the unit must be vacated by the previous tenant before the inspection can take place. Owners or a designated representative must be present at the initial inspection; at the annual inspection the tenant or the owner or designated representative must be present to grant access to the unit.
All dogs must be kenneled during initial or annual inspections for safe access.
What If A Unit “Fails” The Inspection?
Under Federal regulations, a unit either “passes” or “fails”. Any item that does not meet the standards will cause the unit to fail. The owner will be notified in writing if the unit fails. The owner determines whether he/she is willing to make the repairs and informs the tenant and MPHA of this decision. If the owner elects not to make the repairs, the family must choose another unit to receive assistance. If the owner elects to make repairs, MPHA MUST be notified of repair completions, and the unit will be re-inspected. The assistance cannot begin, nor is the contract effective until ALL of the following items have been completed:
1. The unit passes the HQS inspection.
2. The lease and HAP contract have been approved by the Section 8 HCV Administration.
3. Participant has possession of the unit.
NOTE: If the tenant is in possession of the unit prior to the assistance beginning, the FULL contract rent is the responsibility of the tenant family.
What Is an Abatement?
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development does not allow MPHA to make payments on a unit that is found to be substandard. If a unit fails an annual HQS inspection, payments will be halted until the required repairs are made. This means that the rent will be prorated for the period of time from the failed inspection until the proof of repairs, and that amount will be deducted from the next check issued. To prevent this from happening, make sure your unit is up to code and in good shape before the inspection.
Learn more about HUD’s requirements for Housing Quality Standards at HUD’s website.
MPHA’s policies for inspections and HQS can be found in Chapter 8 of the Section 8 HCV Administrative Plan.