Housing Quality Standards (HQS) are minimum standards for tenant-based programs and are required both at initial occupancy and during the term of the lease. HQS standards apply to the building and premises, as well as to the unit. Newly leased units must pass the HQS inspection before the beginning date of the assisted lease and Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract.
The inspector must be allowed to inspect the dwelling unit at reasonable times with reasonable notice. The family and owner will be notified of the inspection appointment by mail or by phone. If the owner and/or family can not be at home for the scheduled inspection appointment, the owner or family must make arrangements to enable the inspector to enter the unit and complete the inspection.
Efforts will be made at all times to encourage owners to provide housing above HQS minimum standards. The LA will not promote any additional acceptability criteria which are likely to adversely affect the health or safety of participant families, or severely restrict housing choice. All utilities must be in service prior to the HQS inspection. If the utilities are not in service at the time of inspection, the inspector will notify the tenant or owner (whomever is responsible for the utilities according to the Request for Tenancy Approval) to have the utilities turned on.
The owner is responsible for all other HQS violations, including vermin infestation even if alleged to have been caused by the family’s living habits. However, if such infestation is serious and repeated, it may be considered a lease violation and the owner may evict for serious or repeated violation of the lease.