HPD inspects subsidized apartments prior to lease up and annually thereafter to ensure compliance with federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS) requirements. These standards establish a minimum basis for habitability and must be maintained in order for the owner to receive monthly Housing Assistance Payments (HAP).

HPD's Division of Code Enforcement conducts the HQS inspections for the HPD Section 8 Program, while the Division of Tenant Resources (DTR) oversees the enforcement of HQS compliance related to the Section 8 subsidy. The inspectors are following Section 8 standards for apartments and public areas, New York City Housing Maintenance Code (HMC), and the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL).

Housing Quality Standards

Landlords can prevent failed inspections by providing access to all public areas of the building on the inspection date. Any failures in the public areas – including no access to the basement or boiler room – will result in a failure and/or violation and cause any apartment inspected on or after that day to fail the HQS Inspection until the failure and/or violation is validly certified or closed. Landlords may correct HQS deficiencies in advance of inspection:

  • Emergency Failure Items must be corrected within 24 hours. The following deficiencies will result in an emergency failure:
    • Gas Leaks
    • Smoking/sparking electrical outlets or wiring
    • Building in imminent danger of collapse
  • The most common non-emergency HQS deficiencies are:
    • Missing or broken smoke detector(s)
    • Missing electrical outlet covers
    • Defective windows (no window stops or broken balances)

All Section 8 tenants are required to provide access to HPD employees to allow them to perform the inspection. A family that repeatedly fails to provide access may be terminated from the program.

Tenants are responsible for maintaining HQS and HPD will hold them responsible for damage or violations that cause a unit to fail inspection. HPD generally holds tenants responsible for the following HQS violations:

  • Nonfunctioning smoke detectors (battery-operated, battery dead)
  • Nonfunctioning smoke detectors (electric, tenant pays electrical utilities)
  • Missing smoke detectors (smoke detector was present on initial or last annual inspection)
  • No electricity (tenant pays electrical utilities)
  • No gas (tenant pays gas utilities)
  • Double cylinder lock on exit door
  • Illegal gates on fire escape windows
  • Debris that blocks access to exit doors or fire escape windows
  • Kitchen grease that constitutes a fire hazard
  • Damage caused by tenant or tenant's guest
  • Nonfunctioning carbon monoxide detector (battery-operated, battery dead)
  • Nonfunctioning carbon monoxide detector (electric, tenant pays electrical utilities)

Timelines for clearing up HQS Failures and/or violations of the HMC/MDL have remained distinct. In order to satisfy both HQS and HMC/MDL requirements, the condition must be corrected by the earliest correction date appearing on the notice and certified as corrected by the earliest certification date appearing on the notice.  Please note that within a package of violations, different violations may have different HMC/MDL dates for correction.  All HQS Failures will have the same date.

Owners will receive notice of HMC/MDL violations and HQS Failures in one package for each apartment and one package for any public area violations or failures. All Notices of Violation(s)/HQS Failure(s) that result from the inspection will be sent to the managing agent indicated on the most recent valid HPD Property Registration; please make sure that your Property Registration is current. If your registration is not current, you may not receive your notice. It is your responsibility to be validly registered under NYC law. Owners can register or confirm the same by using HPD's Property Registration Online System (PROS) , calling (212) 863-7300, or sending an e-mail to

Owners should ensure that the managing agent is aware that he/she should act immediately upon receipt of a notice. You may also include an e-mail address on your HPD Property Registration. HPD will send a preliminary notification e-mail when a Violation/HQS Failure that results from the inspection is issued.

Appointment notices and abatement notices will be sent to the contact address listed on the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract.

Certify Correction of HQS Failure of HMC/MDL violation 

Paper Certification: Submit a notarized paper certification document using the form on the backside of the AGENCY Copy of each notice. Only an Owner, Managing Agent, Officer of the Corporation that owns the property or party otherwise responsible for the property listed on a valid Property Registration filed with the Department may certify the correction of an HMC violation.

eCertification: Certify the correction of a Notice of Violation/HQS Failure online using HPD's eCertification application. This service eliminates the need for the notarization and mailing of each certification of a Notice of Violation/HQS Failure, allows owners to certify multiple violations at one time, and reduces processing time.  All failures will remain accessible through eCertification until they are certified as corrected; HMC violations will only remain accessible until the certification date.

Please be advised that false certification is a crime and may result in a penalty. Section 8 HAP will be retroactively suspended to the 1st of the month following the original certification due date of the failure item. Once the HAP is suspended due to a false certification, you will no longer be able to certify the correction of that failure and/or violation. HAP will be suspended until a re-inspection is requested and an inspector confirms the repairs have been made.

Owner Responsibilities Related to Lead-Based Paint Hazards

Owners of buildings with federally assisted units are required to follow specific correction and reporting procedures if a lead-based paint hazard is detected in the building. This may occur as the result of an HQS inspection, or following an Elevated Blood Lead Level (EBLL) result of five micrograms or more per deciliter in a child under six years old who lives in an assisted unit. For more information on owner responsibilities related to lead hazards, see Owners’ Responsibilities and Reporting Requirements Related to Lead-based Paint Hazards in Federally Assisted Units.

Additional Questions

Questions about appointments and correction time periods should be directed to Code Enforcement at (718) 802-3579.

Certification questions should be directed to the Code Enforcement Borough Offices.

Questions about Section 8 HAP abatements, HAP re-instatements and requests for new inspections should be directed to the HQS Unit at (917) 286-4300. As of January 2019, owners and property owners may view inspection notices and inspection failure details through the DTR Owner Portal