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).

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)

If a unit fails an HQS inspection, the owner will be notified of what specific violations were found, and whether the violations are the responsibility of the owner or the tenant. A re-inspection is automatically scheduled for the 30th day from the date of the violation. The responsible party must correct the deficiencies within that 30 day period. If additional time is required to correct the problem, an extension of the deadline must be requested from the HQS Unit in writing.

If an owner fails to correct HQS violations within the 30 day period or any HPD approved extension, HPD MUST abate the Housing Assistance Payment until the violations are corrected. Chronic or serious HQS violations may result in the termination, suspension or reduction of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) or the termination of the HAP contract. The owner is not responsible for tenant-caused breaches of HQS. If a tenant fails to correct an HQS violation, they risk losing their subsidy.

Information for Owners re Section 8 inspections