Housing Quality Standards FAQs

Please click on a question below to view the answer. For answers to more frequently asked questions about the Housing Choice Voucher Program, please link to specific topics from the Housing Choice Voucher FAQs menu.

What are Housing Quality Standards?

Housing Quality Standards (HQS) are the HUD minimum quality standards for housing assisted under the rental assistance program. HQS have been developed for program use nationwide and help to insure that your home will be safe, decent and sanitary. These standards are applied by the Housing Inspector during the inspection.

Are inspections required?

Yes. Inspections will be completed prior to the unit being placed under Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract and biennually (every two years) thereafter (as of November 2014). VASH participants will be inspected annually. For the inspection, the tenant will receive advanced notification of their scheduled inspection. A special inspection may be requested by tenants or owners under different circumstances.

Do I have to be present when an inspection occurs?

No. There must be a responsible adult present, age 18 or over, however, to let the inspector into the unit. We advise tenants to be present for the initial inspection, so that you will know firsthand why the unit did not pass inspection.

I was not at home for my inspection how can I reschedule?

You may reschedule your inspection by contacting the phone number on your appointment letter. If you need to reschedule an inspection, you must call in advance. If you miss an inspection you may jeopardize your rental assistance, therefore it is critical that you contact the phone number on the appointment letter immediately.

Who should I report maintenance problems to?

Maintenance problems should be reported to the owner or property manager in writing. If the problem is not corrected in a prompt or satisfactory manner, the problem should be reported to Housing Authority in writing for possible action.

What are the tenant HQS responsibilities in the unit?

  • Practice good housekeeping habits in your home.
  • Keep the home in a clean, safe, and orderly condition.
  • Do not damage the property.
  • Cut the grass, hedges and shrubbery and maintain the exterior of the property.
  • Let the property manager or owner know as soon as possible when maintenance or repair work is needed.

How can I help my unit to pass inspection the first time?

Link here to review the HQS Self-inspection Checklist. Tenants are also issued "A Good Place to Live" handbook during their briefing with tips for maintenance.

Why was my rent or unit abated?

The HADC is required to inspect units at least annually. Rent is abated (stopped) when the repairs are not completed by the re-inspection deadline date. The unit will be taken out of abatement if it passes inspection. Payments will resume the day after the unit pass inspection.

The owner did not receive a payment this month. Why not?

There could be several reasons why you did not receive a payment this month:

  • If the unit is in abatement due to failed inspection, payments are stopped until repairs are made, and the unit passes inspection.
  • If the tenant has had a recent recertification his/her income may have increased to a level where he/she is no longer eligible for Housing Assistance Payments and the tenants responsible for paying the total Contract Rent. If this is the case, you will receive a letter from the housing counselor regarding the changes. You should receive notification in writing of why your payment was stopped prior to it being effective.
  • If the Housing Authority receives a Notice to Vacate Form from the owner or tenant, no payment will be made to the owner after that date. If a move-out extension signed by the owner and tenant is submitted, the housing counselor will process the payment.

If you have questions about your payments, please contact .

Inspection Quick Guide

Inspection Quick Guide
Inspection Quick GuideHousing Quality Standards (HQS) ensure that housing is decent, safe and sanitary. HQS standards apply to the unit as well as the building and premises.

  • Initial/Move-in
  • Annual
  • Special/Complaint
  • Quality Control
  • Conducted at least once every 24 months.
  • An adult must be present to allow the inspector access to the unit.
  1. Utilities not in service
    (More than 20% of all first-time inspections never happen because of this.)
  2. Non-working or missing smoke detectors improperly working or missing, broken or loose
  3. Missing, broken or loose electrical switch or receptacle covers
  4. Improperly working electrical receptacles and switches
  5. Entry doors not secure, improper lock or not weather tight
  • Remind tenants of upcoming inspections.
  • Schedule a walk-through with your tenants prior to inspection.
  • Review items that are commonly known to fail (see the list above).
  • PASS – Good until next year’s annual inspection
  • No Entry – The unit will be considered to FAIL
  • FAIL – Re-inspection will be conducted in accordance with violation