Your Guide to Section 8 Housing Inspection Requirements
To be eligible for Section 8, rental property owners must pass a housing inspection to determine if the unit meets the minimum housing standards set by HUD and the local housing authority.
After an initial inspection, the housing authority will also perform an inspection yearly, usually when the tenant’s lease is up for renewal. To maintain Section 8 status, any identified property repairs must be made in a timely fashion.
This guide will walk you through what to expect with these inspections and the requirements property owners need to meet to qualify for the Section 8 program.
Purpose of Inspection
Inspections are conducted to ensure rental properties are decent, safe, and sanitary. During an inspection, HUD inspectors check to make sure your property manager or landlord is following HUD’s quality standards. Inspectors may find issues that your property can fix to meet these standards within a set time period.
Housing Inspection Process
The property owner or manager will give a notification to the tenant of the inspection date and time. Once the inspection takes place, the property owner or manager will be notified of the inspection results. Properties must pass their inspection and fix issues (or deficiencies) that the inspector finds.
During the inspection, the exterior of the rental property and each room in the interior is checked. Inspectors look at the floors, walls, and ceilings in each room to make sure they are in good condition. They look at the HVAC system, hot water tank, plumbing, elevators, stairways, and fire exits.
In the kitchen, the inspector checks that there is running water, appliances are working properly, and there are no electrical hazards. They also evaluate whether or not there is appropriate space for the preparation and storage of food.
In the bathroom, the inspector looks at the plumbing and fixtures to ensure they are working properly, including the toilet, sink, and bathtub or shower. They also check that there is proper ventilation.
Inspectors check all electrical outlets for proper covers and look for electrical hazards throughout the rental property. Doors and windows are checked to make sure they’re in good working order for security. Another important element that inspectors check for is the presence of any lead-based paint and functioning smoke detectors.
For the exterior of the rental property, the inspector is looking to ensure the unit is structurally sound, inspecting the foundation, entryways and exits, driveways, roofs and gutters, stairs, rails and porches, and even the chimney.
PMHA’s Landlord Packet can show you specifically what is covered in the inspection.
Most Frequent Housing Quality Violations
Some of the most common quality standards violations include:
- Broken, cracked windows
- No locks on first-floor windows
- No handrails on stairs with 4 or more steps (interior and exterior)
- No railings or protective barriers on porch landings that are more than 30″ from ground level (interior and exterior)
- Hazardous electrical system – bare wires, missing outlet covers, and fuse box covers, spliced wiring, or loose light fixtures
- Water heater without a Temperature Pressure Relief Valve and Drip Leg extended to within 6″ of the floor
- Plumbing leaks
- Non-functioning stove (oven and all burners)
- Unit not clean–floors, carpet (steam), stove, refrigerator, bathroom fixtures
- Exterior door locks that are not secure–loose or missing striker plate, split door jamb, or inadequate lock
- Large holes in walls or ceilings
- Holes in foundations that could lead to pest infiltration
PMHA Is Here to Help
If you need more information about Section 8 housing or to schedule an inspection, we’re here to answer your questions and help you learn more.