Landlord Inspection Rights Under HUD Housing

by Joe Stone
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By renting an apartment to tenants participating in the federal government’s housing voucher program, you provide a type of HUD housing. As a landlord for HUD housing, you must sign a contract with the local public housing authority designated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to administer the Housing Voucher Program. Among the contract requirements are periodic inspections of your apartments. You have the right to be present during the PHA inspections and will be given time to correct any items that do not meet HUD housing quality standards.

Types of HUD Inspections

HUD rules specify five types of PHA inspections for HUD housing -- two mandatory inspections and three optional ones. Before HUD approves a lease for an apartment, an initial inspection must be done by the PHA to ensure that the apartment meets HUD's quality standards. Once the lease is in effect, the PHA is required to perform an annual inspection of the apartment. If your tenant or you want the apartment inspected between the annual inspections, a special inspection can be requested. Inspection supervisors perform quality-control inspections on a random basis to make sure inspectors are adequately performing their job. When your tenant moves out, you or your tenant can request an inspection to determine if there is damage to the apartment beyond normal wear and tear.

Attending PHA Inspections

The PHA policy on attendance at an inspection depends on when it occurs. At the initial inspection, the apartment owner or owner's representative must attend, although it's optional for the tenant. During the time the lease is in effect, an adult member of the family leasing the apartment must be present for an inspection. The owner or owner's representative has the option of attending the inspection but is not required to do so.

Compliance Issues

If the inspection discloses any items that do not meet HUD housing quality standards, you will be provided notice of the items not in compliance and given a time frame to comply. You can request an extension of this time frame if you can show the PHA good cause for the extension. When you notify the PHA that the items have been rectified, the apartment will be reinspected within five days. However, if you do not complete the needed repairs in the time frame given plus any extensions, the housing assistance payment you receive from the PHA will be abated until the repairs are completed. You are not entitled to receive any abated payments even after the repairs are completed.

Other Considerations

Because you receive notice of when an inspection is to be performed, you should inspect the apartment before the inspection date. As a general rule, repair or replace any broken or worn-out items in the apartment to avoid failing the inspection. You can obtain a list of the most commonly failed inspection items from your PHA before the inspection.

About the Author

Joe Stone is a freelance writer in California who has been writing professionally since 2005. His articles have been published on LIVESTRONG.COM, SFgate.com and Chron.com. He also has experience in background investigations and spent almost two decades in legal practice. Stone received his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from California State University, Los Angeles.