Initial inspections certify that rental units chosen by new or transferring Housing Choice Voucher tenants meet Housing Quality Standards (HQS). It is acceptable but not desirable for the unit to be occupied by the tenant during this inspection. During an initial inspection the Inspector also determines rent reasonableness. Rental units must pass inspection before HAP Contracts are signed and rent assistance payments begin.
Annual inspections are conducted to determine if a unit continues to meet HQS. Any defects that are the owner's responsibility need to be corrected by the owner. Tenant defects need to be corrected by the tenant. Owners and tenants will be notified by mail of any defects and allowed thirty (30) days or less to complete repairs. The unit must be reinspected after the defects are corrected. Repairs must be completed and reinspected by a stated deadline or the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) will be abated. Abatement means that the owner will not receive payment from LHA for the days that the unit is not in compliance beyond the stated deadline.
Should an owner's HAP be abated for non-compliance the owner will not receive payment for the days the unit did not comply with HQS. The owner may not collect the unpaid HAP amount from the tenant. If corrective action is not complete, the HAP Contract will terminate the last day of the month in which the stated deadline falls. The owner must notify LHA when the defects are complete and schedule a recheck inspection. The tenant is not responsible for scheduling recheck inspections for owner defects. Special inspections are performed as a result of a complaint from family, an owner, a community organization, or other sources. LHA may also initiate a special inspection at any time if it is perceived that the unit is not in compliance with HQS. Tenants requesting a special inspection are required to first notify the owner in writing of their complaints and allow a reasonable time for the owner to respond. A lack of owner response to the complaint will prompt a special inspection. Results of special inspections will be followed up using the same procedures as outlined for an annual inspection.