Housing Quality Standards

What is (HQS)?

Housing Quality Standards (HQS) are the minimum health and safety standards allowed by
HUD for rental property. If you are a property owner or a participant on the Section 8 program
The HQS standards must be maintained throughout the term of the contract with the Housing
Authority. To insure compliance of (HQS) the Housing Authority must conduct an initial
inspection of the unit and an annual inspection to identify any health and safety violations of
(HQS) and give sufficient time to make repairs, if additional time is needed this would be
addressed on a case-by-case bases.

The following items are common (HQS) violations also included are the lead base paint

Access to unit

  • Tenant must have direct access to unit.

Adequacy of Heating

  • Heating equipment must be capable of providing adequate Heat.
  • Heating unit does not function properly and must be repaired.

Ceiling Conditions

  • Excessive mold.
  • Collapsing ceiling needs repair.


  • Fireplace/Chimney certification required.

Electrical Hazards

  • Repair/Replace inoperative GFCI outlet. Does not function properly.
  • Circuit tester reads reverse polarity.
  • Circuit tester reads open ground.
  • Remove improperly wired electrical fixture.
  • Replace missing / broken switch / receptacle cover.
  • Replace broken or frayed electrical wiring.
  • Sub panel missing knockout / or interior panel.
  • Replace inoperative electric switch.
  • Replace broken / burned electric receptacle.
  • Repair light fixture hanging from wires.


  • Must be at least two outlets or one outlet and one light fixture.
  • A permanent working light fixture is required.

Evidence of infestation

  • Treat for mice / roaches.


  • Security bars on bedroom windows must have emergency release mechanism.
  • Remove double keyed deadbolt locks.
  • Window must be accessible for emergency exit.

Exterior Surfaces

  • Repair hole in exterior wall.
  • Repair leaning / falling fence. Safety hazard.
  • Exposed electrical wires must be properly covered or removed.
  • Replace missing knockouts in electrical service panel.
  • GFCI breaker / receptacle not functioning properly.
  • Missing interior panel in breaker box. No holes or exposed wiring.
  • Missing / broken weatherproof cover on exterior receptacle.

Floor Conditions

  • Flooring very weak needs repair.
  • Tack trip showing (nails)
  • Flooring is a tripping hazard needs repair.


  • Missing / broken toilet seat must be replaced.
  • Toilet is loose from the floor and must be repaired.
  • Repair leak at base of toilet.
  • Toilet is plugged.
  • Toilet is inoperative and must be repaired.

Food Storage

  • Clean and sanitary cabinets and pantry.

Garbage & Debris

  • Excessive debris around unit must be cleaned up and removed.
  • Clean up excessive clutter and debris in garage.

Water heater

  • The water heater must be equipped with a temperature & pressure relief valve.
  • Water heater discharge pipe must be between 6 and 24 inches from the floor
  • Water heater if inside, the TPR valve must discharge to the outside of unit.
  • Water heater must be properly ventilated.
  • If water heater is leaking it must be repaired or replaced.
  • Replace missing burner covers.

Internal Stairs

  • At least one handrail must be installed at staircase according to local code.
  • Repair loose or broken handrail.
  • Secure loose boards and / or carpet.

Lead Paint

  • Chipping, pealing, cracking paint must be removed and repainted.  Using
    safe lead paint practices.

Other Interior Hazards

  • Electrical service must be restored.
  • Gas service must be restored.
  • Unit is in unsanitary condition. Needs cleaning throughout.


  • Refrigerator must be repaired or replaced.
  • Refrigerator must be capable of maintaining a low temperature.
  • Tenant to provide a working refrigerator.

Roofs & Gutters

  • Roof damage must be repaired.
  • Roof leak must be repaired.

Safety of Heating

  • Wall furnace cover must be securely attached to the frame.
  • The heating equipment poses a safety hazard to occupants and must be repaired.


  • Entry / exit door is insecure and must be repair.
  • The lock striker plate must be working and fastened securely to the door frame.
  • Replace garage door springs.
  • Repair broken door jamb. ( Exterior door )
  • Garage door is damaged.

Sewer Connection

  • Evidence of severe sewer or septic
  • back up must be repaired.
  • Sewer has been disconnected. Service must be restored.


  • Leaking drain pipe must be repairs.
  • Restricted drain must be cleared.
  • Replace missing / inoperative faucet knobs.

Site & Area Condition

  • Building (s) on or near property must be torn down.
  • Area around unit is a fire hazard and must be corrected.
  • Clean up excessive amount of dog feces.

Smoke Detectors

  • Smoke alarm hanging from wires.
  • Unit is required to be equipped with at lease one smoke detector on each floor.
  • Replace missing smoke detector battery.
  • Inoperative smoke detector.
  • Smoke alarm must be relocated in hall or living room between 4 & 12in. from corner.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

  • May be battery operated, plug-in with battery backup, or hardwired
    with battery backup. Must be approved and listed by the California
    State Fire Marshall.
  • Carbon Monoxide alarms must be installed outside of each separate
    sleeping area in the immediate vicinity, bedrooms with gas appliances
    (fireplaces) and on each level of the dwelling (including basements).
    The devices must be installed according to the approved instructions.


  • At least one hand rail must be installed by exterior steps according to code.
  • Insecure railing around porch / balcony must be repaired.

Stove or Range

  • All stove burners must light with existing pilots / igniters.
  • Replace missing burner / oven knobs.
  • Oven door not closing properly
  • Repair inoperative burner.
  • Repair inoperative oven / broiler.

Tub or Shower

  • Replace missing faucet knobs
  • Replace missing shower door handle.
  • Repair shower doors.

Ventilation & Cooling

  • Air Conditioner inoperative.


  • Window must be able to open and  provide ventilation.
  • Exhaust fan is inoperative and must be repaired.
  • A working vent system must be installed.

Wash Basin

  • Leaking drain pipe must be repaired.
  • Restricted drain must be repaired.
  • Restricted drain must be cleared.
  • Replace missing / inoperative faucet knobs.

Water Supply

  • Restore water supply to sink.
  • Water supply to unit must be restored.

Window Conditions

  • Replace broken or missing window lock.
  • Replace broken / cracked window pane.
  • Repair deteriorated window.
  • Window must be free to open and close properly.
  • Window must be repaired to provide a weather tight seal.
  • Window coverings are highly recommended for privacy. Facing public way.
  • Repair damaged window frame. Glass is loose from frame
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