Section 8

Most Common Fail Items for Section 8 Property Inspections

The Most Common Fail Items on a Section 8 Inspection
1) inoperable smoke alarms (batteries dead or missing)
2) missing or cracked electrical outlet cover plates
3) railings not present where required (handrails for steps most commonly required)
4) deteriorated paint surfaces (i.e. peeling, cracking, flaking paint on exterior and interior surfaces
(lead-based paint is an issue for all units built prior to 1-1-78, specifically with a child under age 6
in the family)
5) tripping hazards caused by permanently installed floor coverings (carpet/vinyl)
6) cracked or broken window panes
7) inoperable burners on stoves or inoperable range hoods missing burner control knobs
9) defective refrigerator gaskets (broken seal allowing air to escape)
10) leaking faucets or other plumbing
11) no temperature/pressure relief valve on water heaters
12) no insulation around front and back doors (ensure no outside light can be seen when doors are closed)
13)Hot Water Heater must have discharge line at least 6 inches from the floor.
14)All Bedroom windows must be openable. Screens must be on all openable windows.
15)All utilities must be on at the time of the inspection.
16)Appliances- Stove & Refrigerator- must be present at the time of inspection. This is required whether the utilities are tenant or owner supplied.


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Main Areas that Section 8 Property Inspectors Investigate

After determining that the rent amount is reasonable on a section 8 voucher property, Housing Inspections staff will contact the landlord to schedule a date and time for the housing quality standards (HQS) inspection. Inspectors conducting Section 8 inspections will be looking for health and safety items, along with Federal housing quality standards and minimum local housing codes.

Inspections are scheduled on a first come, first served basis and are normally conducted within two weeks. If the unit passes inspection, it is ready for occupancy and the process continues. If the unit fails inspection, all issues noted on the failed inspection report must be corrected and the unit re-inspected within 30 days. Both tenant and/or landlord may be responsible for correcting failed HQS items. Inspections will occur on an annual basis, following the initial inspection and for as long as the Section 8 participant continues to occupy the unit. It is strongly recommended that the landlord be present at each HQS inspection.

Units leased in this program shall meet the following requirements:

First and foremost, the housing must be safe, decent and sanitary.

Access – The dwelling unit shall be usable and capable of being maintained without unauthorized use of private properties. The building shall provide an alternative exit in case of the fire (such as fire stairs or exit through windows).
Food preparation and refuse disposal – A cooking stove or range, a refrigerator of appropriate size for the unit, a kitchen sink with hot and cold running water shall be present in proper operation condition. Adequate space for the storage, preparation and serving of food shall be provided. There shall be adequate facilities and services for the sanitary disposal of food waste.

Illumination and electricity- Living and sleeping rooms shall include at least one window. A ceiling or wall type light fixture shall be present and working in bathroom and kitchen. At least two electric outlets, one of which may be an overhead light, shall be present and operable in the living room, kitchen and each bedroom.

Interior air quality- The dwelling shall be free from dangerous levels or air pollution from carbon monoxide, sewer gas, fuel gas, dust and other harmful air pollutants. Air circulation shall be adequate throughout the unit. Bathroom areas shall have a least one operable window or other adequate exhaust ventilation.

Sanitary facilities – The dwelling unit shall include a flush toilet, a fixed basin and tub or shower with hot and cold running water, all in proper operating condition, can be used in privacy and are adequate for personal cleanliness and the disposal of human waste.

Site and neighborhood- The site and neighborhood shall not be subject to dangerous walks, steps, instability, flooding, poor drainage, septic tanks backups, sewage hazards or mud slide; abnormal air pollution, smoke or dust, excessive accumulation or trash, vermin or rodent infestation; or fire hazards.
Space and security – The dwelling unit shall contain a living room, kitchen, bathroom and at least one bedroom or living-sleeping room of appropriate size for each two persons. Exterior doors and windows accessible from outside the unit shall have screens.

Structure and materials – Ceilings, walls and floors shall not have any serious defects such as severe bulging or leaning, large holes, loose surface materials, other serious damage. The roof shall be firm and weather tight. The exterior wall structure and surface shall not have any serious defects such as serious leaning, buckling, sagging, cracks or holes, loose siding, or other serious damages. The condition and equipment of interior and exterior stairways, halls, porches, walkways, etc. shall be such as not to present a danger or tripping or failing. Elevators shall be maintained in safe and operating conditions.

Water Supply – The unit shall be served by approved public or private sanitary water supply. The “Housing Assistance Payment” is the difference between the tenant’s portion and the actual rent. The family negotiates directly with the landlord to secure rental accommodations that best suit their need. The unit must meet HUD Housing Quality Standards and pass inspection before a contract is executed between the Housing Authority and Landlord.


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Section 8 Landlord Checklist

 Here is a basic landlords checklist for section 8 housing choice voucher program:

Landlords will want to note the Estimated Maximum Rent listed on voucher. If it is less than they are willing to accept in rent, the family is not eligible for their unit. Ensure that the Section 8 Voucher is current and be sure to get the name and number of the Housing Authority (HA).

It is the landlord’s responsibility to find a family who will take care of your property.

Establish and collect a security deposit if the landlord chooses to do so. The Housing Authority is not responsible for the collection of the security deposit.

Once the landlord has established the security deposit and the participant meets their criteria, they must complete and return the following documents to the HA whose name is indicated on the participant’s voucher:
(1) Request For Tenancy Approval (RFTA), (2) Designation By Owner Form, (3) W-9,
(4) Reminder Notice, (5) Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and Lead- Based Hazards and (6) Section 8 Rental Inspection Check List.

Return the completed paperwork to the housing authority.

Upon receipt and acceptance of the Request For Tenancy Approval and other related paperwork, an initial inspection will be scheduled within 7-10 business days. On this form their must be noted the date that the unit will be ready to pass the Housing Quality Standards Inspection.

The landlord must make sure the Request For Tenancy Approval has the most up-to-date number for the inspectors to reach them by telephone. Have all work completed by the scheduled date of inspection and ensure that all utilities are on by the scheduled date of inspection.

During the 7-10 days prior to inspection, draw up a rental lease agreement between the landlord and the Section 8 participant; Leave the effective date and rental amount blank. Rental amounts will be determined by comparing the unit to similar open market and unassisted homes within a one/two mile radius of the unit. To support the requested rent amount, a landlord may want to be prepared with at least two comparables of unassisted units within a one/two mile radius of your rental unit. These comparables must be within the same vicinity of the unit (One/ Two Mile Radius).

Location is an important factor in determining the approved rental amounts.

Once the unit passes the Housing Quality Standards Inspection, first verify with the HA that the family is still eligible and then the family can move in. At this time, confirm the effective and anniversary date of the lease and the approved rental amount with the analyst; complete the lease with attached Tenancy Addendum and promptly return it to the Housing Authority.

HA will send two copies of the Housing Assistance Payments Contract (HAP Contract); the landlord signs both and returns both copies to the Housing Authority. Funds will not be released until we have the signed contracts.

Maintain the rental unit in compliance with Housing Quality Standards at all times.

Unit Recertification

Return notice to HA promptly to let them know if you plan to renew the lease and if you are requesting an increase in rent.

Make sure the rental unit is ready for its annual inspection. If the tenant needs to do housekeeping or other repairs, see that they are completed by the time of the inspection appointment


June 29, 2011 / by / in , ,
Check out Rental Rates Nationwide

I was looking for a great resource that helped me identify rent rates for a property I am looking into buying.  I have found that there are two websites that will help give some basics ranges for rents in a given area. 

You can have it search via zip code or address.  It is not deadon, but it does offer at least a ball park estimate, so you can run your numbers on your income property to see if it will produce the kind of cash flow the seller or real estate agent claim on the proforma they just sent you. 


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