Property owners are required to consistently maintain their rental units in compliance with Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and must also enforce the lease in the same manner in which they enforce the lease for non-subsidized rental units.
Property Maintenance Requirements
Rental units subsidized through the Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) program must comply with HQS as well as local code requirements. HPHA will withhold Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) if a unit does not meet the minimum requirements of HUD’s HQS and local code requirements except in the case where the failure is caused by the HCV assisted family. Owners who fail to make required repairs to an assisted unit within the time period specified in the notice received from HPHA will be subject to abatement of HAP. Abatement is a permanent loss of rent and begins the first day of the next month following the notification of abatement. If the repairs are not made, the abatement will continue until the HAP contract is terminated at the end of the month that the abatement began. If the repairs are completed, HPHA will end the abatement the day the unit passes inspection and rental subsidy will resume on the same day. Rental subsidy cannot be recovered for the period when the unit was under abatement and the HCV assisted family cannot be held responsible. For tenant caused HQS deficiencies, the owner will not be held accountable and the rental subsidy will not be abated.
Some of the common reasons why units fail HQS are:
- Inoperable or missing smoke alarms/carbon monoxide
- Chipping, peeling, scaling, flaking paint
- Broken or cracked windows
- Plumbing problems, leaking faucets, etc.
- Tripping hazards related to worn carpeting, broken or missing tiles
- Defective wood flooring
- Electrical hazards such as faulty outlets, switches and missing cover plates, etc.
- Malfunctioning heating and cooling systems
- Defective grout/caulk in bathrooms and kitchens
- No ventilation in bathrooms (exhaust fan must be present if there is no window)
- Missing discharge on water heaters
- Defective stove burners
- Defective appliances provided by the landlord and included in the rent
- Non-working utilities
- Severe rodent or insect infestation