HQS Inspection Guidelines

HQS Inspection Guidelines 2017-05-24T17:13:44+00:00

Each unit rented to a Section 8 Voucher holder must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. The checklist below is a tool for owners to prepare their unit for an HQS inspection. This checklist highlights some of the most common violations found during unit inspections. The items on this checklist must be working or completed prior to the HQS inspection. The unit must be empty/vacant from previous tenant.

Utilities and Plumbing

  • Utilities (water, gas, electric) must be turned on for the completion of the inspection.
  • There must be a permanently installed working heating system.
  • Hot and cold running water in the kitchen and bathroom(s).
  • There must be a shower or bathtub that works.
  • There must be a flush toilet that works, is securely mounted and does not leak.
  • The bathroom must have either an outside window or an exhaust fan vented to the outside.
  • There must not be any plumbing leaks.
  • There must not be any plugged drains (check for slow drains).
  • All plumbing fixtures must have P-traps to prevent sewer gas from leaking into the unit.
  • All electrical outlets/switches must have cover plates and be in good working condition.
  • All ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) must work properly.
  • The hot water heater tank must have a temperature pressure relief valve with downward discharge pipe made of galvanized steel or copper tubing that is between six inches to eight inches from the floor or directed outside the unit (no PVC). CPVC is acceptable.

Exterior and Safety

  • All ground floor windows and exterior doors shall open and close as designed and must have working locks.  Doubled keyed dead bolts are not permitted.
  • Each living space must have two means of fire egress (i.e. door & window)
  • There must not be any missing, broken, or cracked windows.
  • If there are stairs and railings, they must be secure.
  • Four or more exterior stairs must have handrails 34 inches to 38 inches from the ground.
  • Walk offs or porches 30 inches above grade must have guard rails 36 inches from the ground.
  • There must be working smoke detectors properly mounted on each level of the unit including the basement and walk up attics. Fire extinguisher must be in the unit with an updated tag and weighs a minimum of 5 lbs.
  • All security bars and windows must have a quick release mechanism.
  • All sliding glass doors must have a lock or security bar on the door that works.
  • There must be window screens on all windows. No jalousie windows.
  • There must be stepping stones or walkway to the unit
  • Porch/deck – guard rail slats no more than 5” apart.
  • If any appliance is gas or unit has a fireplace, a carbon monoxide tester is required.

Clean and Working

  • No chipping or peeling paint inside or outside the unit.
  • Stove must be clean, in working order, and secured.
  • Refrigerator must be clean and be in working order with a good door seal.
  • The roof must not leak, have indications of a leak, or have a discolorations or stains on the ceiling.
  • The floor covering cannot be torn or have holes that can cause someone to trip.
  • All construction/rehabilitation (painting, carpet replacement, etc.) must be completed.
  • The unit must be free from roaches or rodents.
  • Kitchen – no deep scratches or chips that show bare wood on counter-top.