Housing Choice Voucher Inspections

Each unit must pass inspection at least annually.

Initial Inspection

An initial inspection of the rental unit will be conducted within 15 days of receipt of the lease-up paperwork if the unit is available. If the unit does not pass inspection, a list of required repairs will be provided to the landlord. Once the repairs have been made, the inspector will re-inspect the unit to verify that it now meets housing quality standards.

Annual Inspection

Inspections will be conducted at least annually for participants remaining in the rental unit beyond the initial first year. This free inspection allows the owner to know how well the tenant is caring for the unit. Both the landlord and the tenant benefit from maintaining the dwelling in decent, safe, and sanitary condition.

At the annual inspection the inspector will determine if repairs are the responsibility of either the landlord or of the tenant.

The family is responsible for correcting failures caused by non-payment of utilities for which the family is responsible for paying, for failure to provide and maintain appliances the owner does not provide under the lease, and for damages beyond normal wear and tear caused by household members or guests.

The owner is responsible for failure or damage caused by normal wear and tear.

The landlord and tenant will be provided with a list of required repairs. Each party will have 24 hours for emergency repairs and 30 days to complete non-emergency items and to contact the Housing Authority for a re-inspection. If a re-inspection does not pass within that time period or any extension, the following action(s) will be taken:

  • for tenant responsibility failures, termination of the participant's rental assistance. This places responsibility on residents to minimize and repair damages above normal wear and tear that they cause to the rental unit in order to keep their rental assistance.
  • for landlord responsibility failures, abatement of the rental assistance payment from the Housing Authority until either the unit passes re-inspection or the Housing Assistance Payments Contract is terminated. Abatement means the Housing Authority's share of the rent is not paid to the owner at all since the unit does not meet minimum housing quality standards as required by the contract. The tenant is not responsible for paying that portion of the rent and may not be evicted for non-payment of the Housing Authority's share.
  • for failures that are both landlord and tenant responsibility, abatement of the rental assistance payment to the owner and termination of the participant's rental assistance.

Other Inspections

Special inspections may also be done during the year in response to complaints. A supervisory quality control inspection may be done in order to ensure inspections are performed accurately and consistently among inspectors.

Frequent Inspection Fail Items

Owners are strongly encouraged to repair items before scheduling an inspection so that the unit passes the first time. Special attention should be given to the following common-fail items.

  • Ceiling - Repair any cracked plaster or holes. Repair water damage and correct the source of leakage.
  • Doors/Cabinets - Missing doors, knobs, locks, stops, and loose or missing thresholds must be repaired or replaced. Sliding closet doors must have guides.
  • Electric - A 100 amp meter panel is required - 70 amps in integrated panels. Fixtures that are present must work. Broken outlet cover plates must be replaced and exposed wire must be covered. Hood fan wiring and wiring below 8 feet must be guarded or enclosed. Light fixtures must have bulbs and covers. There must be a working exhaust fan in a bathroom without a window. The unit must have a cooling system and heater.
  • Floors - Torn, damaged, cracked, or missing tiles/linoleum must be repaired/replaced. Carpeting should be clean. Torn, damaged, or severely worn carpeting must be replaced.
  • Garage - The garage door must open and close properly. The landlord must not store any of his/her personal items at the unit.
  • Garbage/Debris/Vegetation - The unit and yard must be free of heavy accumulation of debris and garbage such as piles of trash, discarded furniture, etc. The unit must contain adequate facilities for disposal of food waste (covered trash cans, dumpsters, etc.) Trees and grass must not have contact with the unit.
  • Handrails - Handrails are required for flights of four or more stairs and must not be broken or cracked.
  • Locks - As required by California law, each entrance door (other than a sliding glass door) must be equipped with a deadbolt lock. Interior doors may only have privacy locks.
  • Plumbing and Fixtures - Repair leaking faucets and clogged drains. Repair/seal chipped porcelain on sinks, basins, and tubs. Install tub and basin stoppers.
  • Refrigerator - If the owner provides the refrigerator, it must be clean, with no missing or broken shelves or kickplate, and must be in operating condition.
  • Screens - Screens must be present on all windows and be in good condition.
  • Smoke detector - there must be at least one working smoke detector for each living level.
  • Stoves - Oven doors and stove burners must operate properly and the stove knobs must be in place. Gas stoves must be connected with flex hose. A hand controlled gas cut-off valve must be provided. An overhead exhaust fan is required.
  • Utilities - The utilities must be on so the inspector can determine whether the appliances and electrical components are functioning properly.
  • Walls - Repair holes and peeling, cracking, or blistering paint on both the interior and exterior of the unit. Repair or install baseboard molding when there are gaps between the wall and the floor.
  • Water Heater - The water heater must have a pressure relief valve, an extension to within 6" of the floor, and a hand-controlled gas cut-off valve. Ventilation must be provided. All combustibles must be removed to at least 7 feet away from the water heater.
  • Windows - Repair/replace cracked, broken, missing and boarded up windows. Windows must operate properly and be able to be locked.
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