To ensure that the unit passes inspection, the items listed below must be in working order prior to the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection. If the unit does not pass inspection, there will be a delay in the new contract approval process. (Please note that this is not an inclusive list but some of the most common reasons units fail inspection.)
Unit must be move-in ready. Previous tenant has moved out and the unit is clean and free of garbage, inside and outside. All of the owner’s personal belongings, if any, have been removed.
All utilities must be on. (Heat, Hot Water, Electricity, Water)
Smoke detectors must be present and in operable condition on each level of the home, including the basement. If tenant is hearing impaired, flashing smoke detectors must be installed and operable on each level of the home.
Carbon monoxide detectors must be present and in operable condition and shall be centrally located outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.
All windows accessible from the outside are lockable.
Heating unit provides adequate heating to all living areas.
Electrical outlets are working, and three-pronged outlets are either grounded or have working GFCI
(Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection. (See page 5 for example)
All electrical outlets and light switches have intact, unbroken cover plates.
The stove, oven, refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher are operable. If the tenant-provided refrigerator or stove is not available at the time of the inspection, it must be verified as “working” prior to the tenant moving into the unit. Stove must have readable control knobs.
Plumbing leaks have been repaired.
Water heater needs to have a TPR (Temperature Pressure Relief) valve with a discharge pipe composed of rigid material directed to the floor.
· Tenant Selection Information: Selection of a tenant is based on the owner’s tenancy requirements.
· Inspections: For questions related to inspections, including rescheduling and inspection results, property owners may call Gilson Inspection Services (GIS) at 959-777-5874 or 860-723-8483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to the Landlord Portal.
· General Questions: For information related to lease-up or HACH procedures, please call the assigned caseworker listed on the package or contact 860-723-8400 and ask to speak to a representative.
The following information provides you with an overview of The Housing Authority of the City of Hartford’s (HACH) leasing and inspection process after a completed RFTA is submitted.
DETERMINING THE UNIT’S CONTRACT RENT
- HACH will compare the unit to other unassisted comparable units to determine the reasonable rent, estimated tenant portion of the rent and the estimated amount of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). If there is a discrepancy between the rent amount requested by the owner, and the rent amount HACH can approve, a HACH representative will contact the owner to discuss the approved contract rent.
- A tenant’s rent portion cannot exceed 40% of their monthly gross income. A HACH representative may call the owner to negotiate if the requested rent will exceed this percentage of the tenant’s income.
- Property ownership will be verified. Any discrepancies HACH will request and require additional information to be submitted.
INSPECTION OF THE UNIT
- A Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection will be conducted before a new contract is processed.
- HACH has partnered with Gilson Inspection Services (GIS), to conduct HQS inspections. A GIS representative will contact the owner to schedule the initial HQS inspection no later than 14 business days from the receipt date of the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA), or when the unit is ready for inspection, whichever date is later. It is required that the owner or the owner’s designated representative (18 years or older) be present during the inspection. A
designated representative must have a written authorization, signed and dated by the owner, to act on behalf of the owner at the time of the inspection.
- If the HQS inspection reveals that repairs need to be made to the unit, the repairs must be completed before the unit can be approved for Section 8 assistance. Owners must make all repairs as noted by the GIS inspector within 10-days from the date of inspection. The owner and the tenant are encouraged to conduct a preliminary inspection so any necessary repairs can be completed before the scheduled HQS inspection (A Pre-Inspection Checklist is provided for your reference).
- Owner calls GIS to confirm that any inspection failed items noted in the initial inspection have been Upon receipt of this call, GIS will schedule and complete a re-check inspection within 48 hours. The date the unit passes inspection is the date the owner reports the repairs are completed (subject to the GIS inspector confirming the completed repairs at the recheck inspection).
EXECUTION OF THE HOUSING ASSISTANCE PAYMENT (HAP) CONTRACT
- The effective date of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract and lease is the later of:
- Date client accepts keys to the unit;
- Date the unit passes HQS inspection;
- Day following move out from previous unit, if the client is a program participant; or
- Date the rent amount is approved
If the tenant moves into the unit before the effective date of the HAP Contract, the tenant is
responsible for the full contract rent.
- The term of the HAP contract begins on the effective date (as described in section H. above) and ends on the last day of the month the lease term ends and must be a minimum of 365 days apart, if the lease term is one year. The HACH will not pay any housing assistance payments to the owner until the HAP contract has been executed.
- A HAP contract and a Mandatory Lease Information form will be sent to the owner/agent to complete and sign. The HAP contract should be executed within 60 days. If lease and HAP contract are not executed within 60 day the move-in process will be voided and the process will start over. This means no payments will be remitted and the owner must submit another RFTA for the family and the process will start again. The Lease must contain the following HUD required information which must match the owner’s lease agreement:
- Names of all members of the Household
- Unit address
- Lease start and end date
- Monthly total rent amount
- A list of the utilities and appliances provided to the unit and whether the tenant or owner is responsible paying for each
The owner must attach a copy of the HUD Tenancy Addendum to the lease and the lease must contain the language “The HUD Tenancy Addendum is incorporated by reference into this lease.”
- The tenant pays the security deposit and their portion of the rent directly to the owner/agent when tenant moves in.
- The first HAP check will be issued no later than the 5th of the month after all the required documents are signed and dated and submitted to HACH. Owners are mandated to sign up for automatic direct deposit. Payments will be processed by 5th business day of each month and will be deposited no later than the 6th day of the month.
AFTER LEASE UP
- Responsibility for payment of utilities cannot be changed and the rent cannot be increased during the term of the initial HAP contract (usually 12 months).
- Requests for rent adjustment after the initial term has ended must be served in writing using the Rent increase form signed by the tenant and landlord and sent to HACH in accordance with the lease but must be received by HACH at least 75 days prior to the effective date and no more than 120 days prior. All adjustments are subject to rent reasonableness and HACH approval. HACH will not approve more than one rent increase per unit within a 12-month period.
- Upon expiration of the initial lease term, the lease can continue on a month-to-month (no notice required), or a new lease can be executed (Landlord is required to serve a 60-day notice in writing to
the tenant and the HACH). After the initial lease term ends, any changes to the lease must be submitted in writing to the tenant and HACH. The following changes also require a new HAP contract and lease:
- Changes in utilities and appliance responsibility
- Change in the start and end date of the lease term
- Enforcement of the lease is the responsibility of the landlord. The landlord must immediately report to HACH the following:
- Vacancy for more than 30 days
- Unauthorized persons residing in the unit
- Death of a tenant
- Crime and substance abuse
- Intent to evict of terminate the lease for any reason
- Any other serious or repeated violations of the lease
The landlord must provide a copy of any notice served to the tenant to HACH. If the tenant is committing serious and repeated violations of the lease, notify HACH as this is a breach of the tenant’s Family Obligations and can lead to a termination of the tenant’s assistance.
- Housing Quality Standards Inspections:
- Inspections are conducted annually. Landlords and tenants are notified in advance of the inspection schedule you can also visit the Landlord Portal to view any upcoming inspections. Special inspections may also be scheduled upon written request from either the landlord or the tenant.
- Annual inspections are conducted to ensure the assisted unit is kept in safe, decent and sanitary conditions. There are two categories “Life-threatening” fail items will require correction within 24 hours of the date of inspection and non-life-threatening fail items will require correction within 30 days from the date of inspection. Both categories will require re-check inspection to be scheduled to verify. More information about what constitutes a life-threatening fail can be found in HACH’s Administrative Plan viewable on the website.
- If life-threatening and non-life-threatening fail items, are not corrected as required, an abatement (HAP is permanently withheld) will be initiated the first day of the month following the repair due date and the HAP contract will be terminated at the end of the 3rd month of abatement.
- Change in Ownership: If there is a change of ownership of the subsidized unit, HACH must be immediately notified in writing. The notice must include: name of the new owner, address and effective date of the change. The new owner must be informed that he/she must contact HACH and provide the same information. The HAP will continue to be sent to the owner of record until such time HACH receives notification that the ownership has changed. Once all required documents from the new owner are received we will then begin remitting HAP payments the month following notification to HACH of the change of ownership. HACH will not be responsible for re-capturing any HAP payments made in error to the previous owner because of delay in notification of sale.
The Housing Authority of the City of Hartford (HACH) is clarifying for owners the criteria for evaluating the proper operating condition of electrical outlets under HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS).