Housing Quality Standards (HQS)

Understanding HUD's Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Regulations

Before rental assistance can be approved, the rental unit must pass a Housing Quality Standards Inspection. In order to perform a move-in inspection, the Housing Authority requires:

  • Gas, electricity and water utilities must be turned on.
  • Unit must be in condition for tenant to move in.

Expediting the Inspection Process

To expedite the Inspection process, we recommend that the items listed below are in place and in good condition before scheduling an inspection.

  • It is recommended that you correct paint deficiencies before the inspection. Painted surfaces must be free of chipped, peeling, flaking, cracked or deteriorated paint. Dwelling units constructed before 1978 occupied by a family that includes a child under the age of six years, must be tested for the presence of lead-based paint if chipped, peeling, flaking, cracked or deteriorated paint conditions are noted during the inspection.
  • All doors leading to the exterior and garage (if attached) must have a single-keyed deadbolt (lever inside/ keyed outside). Sliding glass doors do not require a deadbolt, but must be lockable.
  • All windows must be lockable and free from defects. If the window is designed to open and close, it must function in this manner. At least one window per room must have a properly fitting screen in good condition.
  • On each level of the unit there must be at least one working, testable smoke alarm.
  • All floor covering must be secured to the floor to prevent tripping hazards.
  • All outlets (110v/120v) in proper operating condition, switch plates, outlets and covers must be intact. Cracked covers are a "fail" item.
  • All plumbing must be in good working order with no leaks.
  • All hot water heaters must have a pressure relief valve and discharge line. TPR valve discharge pipe must be made of galvanized steel, hard drawn copper, or CPVC (regular PVC tubing will not withstand high temperatures.)  Hot water heaters must be enclosed if installed in the living area of the unit. Hot water heaters must be strapped or braced at the top and bottom of the heater.
  • If heating source is a wall furnace, unit must be clean and exterior panel secured to the wall.
  • Before the unit can pass inspection, we must verify that all appliances are in working order. If the landlord provides the stove and refrigerator, it must be in the unit and in good working order. If the tenant is responsible for providing the stove and/or refrigerator, we must verify that they are in good working order.
  • Unit must have a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed and maintained in the following locations. Outside of each separate dwelling unit sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. A detector should not be placed within 15 feet of any fuel burning appliance. On every level of a dwelling unit including basements.

Annual Inspections

Under HUD regulations, for the rental assistance to continue, the rental unit must be inspected at least once annually. If a unit fails the HQS inspection, the property owner is given notice and adequate time to complete repairs. Housing Quality Standards Inspections are conducted following HUD Regulations (PDF).

For more detailed information, we recommend you read "A Good Place to Live (PDF)".