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Inspections & Housing Safety

Effective October 1, 2024, NSPIRE (National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate) will replace HQS (Housing Quality Standards) for all rental assistance programs.

Landlords: View your payments ledger, and pay abatement fees through the THA Portal.
We encourage you to register in the THA Portal, and attach your Vendor Account to take advantage of these and other tools for landlords that will be added in the future.

Margaret Jones Headshot
Margaret Jones, 
Director Of Assisted Housing

From Left: Angela Daves, Rudy Garrett, Jasmine Mapp
Inspections Team
From Left: Angela Daves, Rudy Garrett, Jasmine Mapp

Initial Inspections

  • Initial Inspections are conducted for those planning to move into your unit
  • Initial inspections are "prompted" by the request of the Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) by our agency. (For more information on the lease up process and the RTA please see "The Lease up Process" link)
  • As a result of the HOTMA amendments to Section 8(o)(8)(A)(ii) of the 1937 Act, PHAs may choose to approve a the move in, execute the HAP contract, and begin making payments on a unit that fails the initial HQS inspection, provided the unit's failure to meet HQS is the result only of non-life-threatening conditions, as such conditions are defined by HUD.
  • If the non-life threatening conditions are not corrected within 30 days of the PHA notifying the owner of the unit, in writing, of the unit's failure to comply with HQS, the PHA must withhold any further assistance payments until those conditions are addressed and the unit is in compliance with the housing quality standards.
  • After the 30-day correction period and the unit has not passed the inspection, the PHA will begin abatement the first of the following month after the failed inspection and will notify the family of the requirement to move.
  • Any withheld payments will be paid retroactively to the owner. Abated payments will not be paid retroactively.
  • HUD is defining a nonlife-threatening condition as any condition that would fail to meet the housing quality standards under 24 CFR 982.401 and is not a life-threatening condition. Further, for the purposes of implementing the policy outlined by HOTMA, HUD is defining life-threatening conditions as follows and applies to all HQS inspections:
    1. Gas (natural or liquid petroleum) leak or fumes
    2. Electrical hazards that could result in shock or fire
    3. Inoperable or missing smoke detector
    4. Interior air quality
    5. Gas/oil fired water heater or heating, ventilation, or cooling system with missing, damaged, improper, or misaligned chimney or venting
    6. Lack of alternative means of exit in case of fire or blocked egress
      Other interior hazards. A life-threatening condition under this standard is a fire extinguisher (where required) that is missing, damaged, discharged, overcharged, or expired
    7. Deteriorated paint, as defined by 24 CFR 35.110, in a unit built before 1978 that is to be occupied by a family with a child under 6 years of age. This is a life-threatening condition only for the purpose of a condition that would prevent a family from moving into the unit. All lead hazard reduction requirements in 24 CFR part 35, including the timeline for lead hazard reduction procedures, still apply
    8. Any other condition subsequently identified by HUD as life threatening in a notice published in the Federal Register. HUD will notify PHAs if such changes are made
    9. Any other condition identified by the administering PHA as life threatening in the PHA's administrative plan prior to this notice taking effect and are as follows:
      • Lack of security for the unit
      • Waterlogged ceiling in imminent danger of falling
      • Major plumbing leaks or flooding
      • No heat when outside temperature is below 50 °F and temperature inside unit is below 60°F
      • Utilities not in service
      • No running hot water
      • Broken glass where someone could be injured
      • Lack of functioning toilet

Annual Inspections

  • All units need to be inspected annually.
  • Two months prior to the lease ending, the unit will be scheduled for an annual inspection. The tenant and the landlord will be notified by mail of the date and time of the inspection.
  • If the unit fails, a substandard letter will go out to the tenant and the landlord indicating the failed items. The letter will indicate the landlord-related items and the tenant-related items. The tenants are responsible for their own repairs. If the landlord opts to assist the tenant in the tenant-related items, that it between the tenant and the landlord.
  • As required by HUD, the landlord, and the tenant are given 30 days to complete the repairs before the unit will be re-inspected.
  • If the unit fails a 2nd time, two letters could go out. If the landlord-related items are not completed, we will send an abatement letter. The abatement letter indicates that we will be abating the housing assistance payment effective the 1st of the following month, and the tenant will be asked to relocate. If the tenant-related items are not completed, we will send a termination letter. The termination letter indicates that we will terminate the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher within 30 days, due to damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear.
  • If you wish to have a 3rd inspection, you will need to go to our online landlord portal and pay $30 for a 3rd inspection. If the unit passes inspection, the payments will be released going forward. There is no retroactive payments for any funds lost during the abatement, and they cannot be applied to the tenant.

Biennial Inspections

  • Currently, units are inspected annually to ensure HQS compliance. Effective October 1st, 2017, THA will schedule units on a biennial basis if, at the annual HQS inspection, the unit passes the first time. All other units that do not pass the first time will remain on the annual inspection schedule. (Please note: this does not apply to Initial Inspections)
  • Examples: Unit A is scheduled for the annual HQS inspection, and the first visit to the unit is May 1st, 2019. At the first visit, the unit passed the inspection; therefore, the unit would not be re-inspected until May 2021. Unit B is scheduled for an annual HQS inspection on June 1st. The unit did not pass the HQS inspection the first time; therefore, the unit is not eligible for the biennial inspection and must be re-inspected the following year.

Special Inspections

  • A special inspection is done at the request of the landlord or the tenant. Sometimes at the request of the housing authority.
  • Generally, the inspector only reviews the items that are reported as deficient. If the items reported have failed, a deadline is given from 24 hours to 15 days depending upon the deficiency.
  • The same rules apply for Specials as it does for Annuals regarding second fails and abatements.

Quality Control Inspections

  • Occasionally, your unit may be randomly selected for a Quality Control Inspection. This means that our Inspections Supervisor is randomly inspecting a small percentage of recently inspected units that have passed to review and double-check the accuracy of our inspectors.
  • If the unit fails this inspection, the same rules apply as indicated for Annuals/Abatements.
  • HQS Inspections are contracted to and conducted by CGI, Inc. If you have any questions regarding any inspections, please contact CGI, Inc. at 866.331.1754 or email CGI. If you need to reach the Housing Authority's inspection department, please call the Inspections Department at 813.253.0551 ext. 1390 or email the Inspection Department.