Inspection Standards
  Housing Quality Standards

Housing Quality Standards (HQS) are the HUD minimum quality standards for tenant-based programs. HQS standards are required both at initial occupancy and during the term of the lease. HQS standards apply to the building and premises, as well as the unit. Newly leased units must pass the HQS inspection before the beginning date of the assisted lease and HAP contract.

Guidelines/Types Of Inspections

Efforts will be made at all times to encourage owners to provide housing above HQS minimum standards. Owners are responsible for maintaining housing that will continuously meet the minimum HQS standards and acceptance of a rental assistance payment from CKH constitutes compliance.

All utilities must be in service prior to the effective date of HAP contract. If the utilities are not in service at the time of inspection, the Inspector will notify the tenant or owner (whomever is responsible for the utilities according to the RFTA) to have the utilities turned on. The Inspector will schedule a re-inspection. The owner and tenant will both certify that the utilities are on.

If the tenant is responsible for supplying the stove and/or the refrigerator, CKH will allow the stove and refrigerator to be placed in the unit after the inspection, if after the unit has passed all other HQS, the family certifies that the appliances are in the unit and working according to the Housing Quality Standards. CKH will not conduct a re-inspection.

There are five types of inspections CKH will perform:

1. Initial/Move-in: Conducted upon receipt of Request For Lease Approval.

2. Annual: Must be conducted prior to HAP contract anniversary date.

3. Special/Complaint: At request of owner, family or an agency or third-party.

4. Quality Control

Initial HQS Inspection

CKH will make every reasonable effort to conduct initial HQS inspections for the family and owner in a manner that is time efficient and indicative of good customer service.

The Initial Inspection will be conducted to:

Determine if the unit and property meets HQS.

Document the current condition of the unit as to assist in future evaluations whether the future condition of the unit exceeds normal wear and tear.

If the unit fails the initial Housing Quality Standards inspection, the owner will be advised to notify CKH once repairs are completed.

On an initial inspection, the owner will be given up to 30 days to correct the items noted as Fail, at the Inspector's discretion, depending on the amount and complexity of work to be done.

If the time period given by the Inspector to correct the repairs has elapsed, or the maximum number of failed re-inspection has occurred, the family must select another unit assuming the Voucher has not expired.

Annual HQS Inspections

CKH conducts an inspection in accordance with Housing Quality Standards at least annually, 90 days prior to the anniversary month of the contract. Special inspections may be scheduled between anniversary dates.

The landlord must correct HQS deficiencies that cause a unit to fail unless it is a fail for which the tenant is responsible.

The family must allow CKH to inspect the unit at reasonable times with reasonable notice.

The family and owner are notified of the date and approximate time of the inspection appointment .

Time Standards for Repairs

1. Emergency items that endanger the family’s health or safety must be corrected by the owner within 24 hours of notification.

2. For non-emergency items, repairs must be made within 30 days.

3. For major repairs, the Director of Leased Housing may approve an extension beyond 30 days.

Rent Increases

CKH will conduct an inspection using the Housing Quality Standards at least annually, prior to the anniversary month of the contract. Contract rent increases will not be approved if the unit is in a failed condition.

Special/Complaint Inspections

If at any time the family or owner notifies CKH that the unit does not meet Housing Quality Standards, CKH will conduct an inspection.

CKH may also conduct a special inspection based on information from third parties such as neighbors or public officials.

Quality Control Inspections

Quality Control inspections will be performed by the Leased Housing Program Specialists for the purpose of determining if each inspector is conducting accurate and complete inspections, and to ensure that there is consistency among inspectors in application of the HQS.

The sampling of files will include recently completed inspections (within the prior 3 months), a cross-section of neighborhoods, and a cross-section of inspectors.

Consequences for HQS Non-Compliance

If Owner Is Responsible (Non-Emergency Items)

When it has been determined that a unit on the program fails to meet Housing Quality Standards, due to the owner not having completed the necessary repair(s) in the time period specified by CKH, the assistance payment to the owner will be abated and a 30 day notice of termination of the HAP contract will be sent to the owner and tenant.


A Notice of Abatement will be sent to the owner informing them of the abatement. The abatement period will coincide with the termination period.

No retroactive payments will be made to the owner for the period of time the rent was abated and the unit did not comply with HQS. The notice of abatement states that the tenant is not responsible for CKH's portion of rent that is abated.

Termination of Contract

If the owner is responsible for repairs, and fails to correct all the deficiencies cited prior to the end of the period given by CKH to make the repairs, the owner will be sent a HAP Contract Termination Notice. The abatement period and termination period will coincide.

If repairs are completed before the effective termination date, the termination may be rescinded by CKH if the tenant chooses to remain in the unit. Only one Housing Quality Standards inspection will be conducted after the termination notice is issued.

Determination Of Responsibility

Certain HQS deficiencies are considered the responsibility of the family:

- Tenant-paid utilities not in service.

- Failure to provide or maintain family-supplied appliances.

- Damage to the unit or premises caused by a household member or guest beyond normal wear and tear.

The owner is responsible for all other HQS violations.

The owner is responsible for vermin infestation even if caused by the family's living habits. However, if such infestation is serious and repeated, it may be considered a lease violation and the owner may evict for serious or repeated violation of the lease. CKH may terminate the family's assistance on that basis.

The inspector will make a determination of owner or family responsibility during the inspection.

If the family is responsible but the owner carries out the repairs, the owner will be encouraged to bill the family for the cost of the repairs and the family's file will be noted.

Consequences If Family Is Responsible

If non-emergency violations of HQS are determined to be the responsibility of the family, CKH will require the family make any repair(s) or corrections within 10 days. If the repair(s) or correction(s) are not made in this time period, CKH will terminate assistance to the family. The Director of Leased Housing must approve extensions in these cases. The owner's rent will not be abated for items that are the family's responsibility.

If the tenant is responsible and corrections are not made, HAP Contract will terminate when assistance is terminated.

Lead Based Paint

Lead-based paint rules apply to all housing constructed before 1978 and where a child under six years of age or a pregnant woman will reside.

All tenants must be provided with a copy of the HUD/EPA pamphlet “Protect Your family from Lead in Your Home”. This document, EPA747-K-9401 is available through the Government Printing Office. Photocopies are acceptable.) The owner and family must complete and sign a “Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards”. This form must be kept by the owner for at least three years. The owner must disclose any known lead-based paint hazards to the family.

CKH must compete a visual assessment for deteriorated paint during the initial and annual inspection. (For more information on lead-based paint in general, see the HUD and EPA web pages. During inspections, all deteriorated or damaged paint will be assumed to be lead-based paint (LBP) unless the paint has been tested and cleared by a licensed Lead Inspector or Risk Assessor. All deteriorated paint must be stabilized by properly trained persons. Paint stabilization must be completed before the unit is occupied or within 30 days of notification if the unit is already occupied. (See CKH’s Lead Paint Guide)

Only properly trained persons may work on LBP or paint assumed to be LBP. Clearance testing is required after repairing LBP. At the completion of work involving LBP or paint assumed to be LBP, the owner must have lead wipe samples secured by a licensed lead inspector and the dust levels must be below HUD defined levels. Section 8 will provide this service at no charge to the owner.

If there is a child with an Elevated Blood Level (EBL) under age six in the unit, a Lead Risk Assessment of the unit and common areas must be completed within 15 days of notification. (A child with an Elevated Blood Level is one determined to have excess lead levels in the blood stream.) The assessment may be performed by the Health Department.

More Resources...

A Good Place to Live (PDF, 354K)

Inspection Form (PDF, 705K)

HQS Regulations (PDF, 46K)

Lead Paint Warning & Disclosure (PDF, 17K)

GFCI Fact Sheet (PDF, 92K)

Lead Paint (PDF, 42K)

Protect Your Family from Lead (PDF, 650K)

HQS Brochure (PDF, 150K)

EPA - Lead Information

HUD - Lead Hazard Control


top | home | public housing | rental assistance | landlords | forms | housing history | contact us