Contact a CHA Inspector by clicking on their name
Our housing inspectors inspect according to minimum habitability and program requirements as established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) . These standards are collectively referred to as Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
Housing Quality Standards were developed to insure that all homes leased under Section 8 will be safe, decent and sanitary.
There are three primary reasons a unit must be inspected. The first is very simple; HUD requires that any unit being considered for or currently in the Section 8 program must meet HQS in order for the owner to receive rental assistance payments. The second is to ensure that there are no health or safety issues that will adversely affect the participant. The third is to assist property owners in identifying issues that poses a risk to their tenants or require routine maintenance that if left unaddressed could results in substantial repair costs or serious injury.
It is important to remember that CHA cannot start a contract until the property is determined to be in compliance with HQS.
HUD requires that a unit be inspected before the contract is executed (called an initial inspection) and no later than 365 days after the last full inspection (called an annual inspection). In addition to those two types of inspections, there are also audit inspections for quality control, supervisor review and complaint inspections.
Audit Inspections can be conducted by HUD or CHA. Units are chosen at random and any unit under contract may be chosen. The purpose is to identify areas where CHA Inspectors require additional or refresher trainings.
Complaint Inspections are inspections requested by either the Participant or the Property Owner after all other means of remedy have been tried. Examples of common complaints include:
In all cases before a complaint inspection is requested, the Property Owner and the Participant should have been notified of the problem by the other party. The first question you will be asked is whether or not the other party was notified of the issue, how were they notified, and what was the outcome of that notification.
Annual Inspections are scheduled approximately nine months apart to enable CHA to comply with HUD’s “no later than 365 days” regulation. This allows for cancellations or missed appointments. This nine month period is based on the last full inspection, not the last re-inspection.
A word about re-inspections. There will be few violations, if any, if the unit, common areas and overall property are maintained in good condition. In other words, there will be few problems if there is a strong, proactive, preventative approach to maintenance. Also, completing the repairs or corrections by the scheduled re-inspection date will limit the number of re-inspections required to verify that all of the violations have been corrected.
If you are a property owner, you are strongly encouraged to inspect your property prior to any visit from a CHA Inspector. This simple general rule can be used as a guideline -- if it’s broken or worn out, repair it or replace it before the inspection.
If you are a participant, you should have your apartment, any adjacent common areas and storage areas, clean and orderly. If there are any damages caused by you, a member of your family or a guest, you should inform the owner prior to the inspection and make whatever arrangements are necessary for repairs.
You will be sent a copy of the Inspection Report listing the violations. Accompanying that list will be a notice indicating a re-inspection date. All violations must be repaired by that re-inspection date. The only exception to this process involves violations that are considered life-threatening. These are classified as 24 Hour Emergency Violations and must be corrected within 24 hours. At the time of discovery, the Housing Inspector will contact you by phone if you are not present at the inspection. A follow-up notice will be mailed to you for your records.
To be eligible to receive Section 8 rental assistance, your unit must be in compliance with HQS. If all of the violations are not corrected by the re-inspection date, CHA is required by HUD to suspend your rental subsidy payment and assess a non-recoverable abatement. The principal considerations in determining the amount of the abatement are:
If you do not understand the violations cited, call the number listed at the bottom of the notice as soon as possible. They will be able to direct your call to the appropriate Housing Inspector. It is important that you call before the scheduled re-inspection date.
Yes, both property owners and participating tenants can request an extension for correcting violations they are responsible for repairing or correcting. They cannot, however, request an extension for the other party.
A request for an extension will be evaluated based on several factors including but not limited to:
You may be required to provide specific documentation such as signed contracts or purchase orders to support your request for an extension.
The one area where extensions cannot be granted involves potential lead-based paint hazards.
Copyright 2018. Columbia Housing Authority. All rights reserved.
Columbia Housing Authority, 1917 Harden St., Columbia SC 29204 (803)254-3886