I was having a heated discussion with our Maintenance Supervisor. We were talking about the Section 8 program and the Section 8 Inspection requirements to pass an inspection the first time.
I was trying not to let my frustration show.
“Why are we failing the Oklahoma Section 8 Inspections?
It seems like we are making the same mistakes over and over.”
I looked up the letters we’d received from the public housing authority. There were four such letters that came in over the past few weeks from the public housing authority. Getting one of these letters is a painful reminder that we had failed. It meant that we had missed one or more items from our Section 8 inspection checklist.
If any single item doesn’t meet HUD guidelines during the Section 8 inspections, the unit fails. That means the tenant can’t move in. That means the property owner doesn’t start to collect rent yet.
In essence, no one walks away from the inspection happy.
From Failures to Success: Nailing Oklahoma City Section 8 Inspections
I had to accept responsibility for those failures.
When you can accept responsibility for when things go wrong, it gives you the power to fix it and make it right.
The vacancy is just too expensive; for a $600 per month rental, every day that vacant rental unit costs the property owner $20. And, you make your new tenant’s life more difficult when the Section 8 inspection fails. That means an unhappy customer right off the bat. Not good.
Our new goal was to pass every Oklahoma City Section 8 inspection the first time, every time. My maintenance supervisor got another cup of coffee as we begin to hash out the details of Section 8 inspection requirements.
It’s all about planning. It’s about preparation.
Figuring out how to fix this was not like picking the winning lottery number.
There is no secret about what the inspectors are looking for. And, there have been plenty of articles written about how to pass Section 8 inspections.
And we were mailed a notification well in advance of the inspection to us when it will occur.
Shame on us if we aren’t ready for the inspection.
Our preparation would determine whether or not we passed the Oklahoma City Section 8 inspection.
If we are organized, if we have a way of checking every detail we know they will look for, we stand a much better chance of passing the Section 8 inspection the first time.
If we don’t, we’ll keep failing inspections, over and over. Some rental property management OKC companies do excellent work in handling Section 8 applications in Oklahoma, month in and month out.
How We Passed an OKC Section 8 Inspection the First Time
We created a detailed Section 8 inspection checklist with all of the things we’ve learned from years of doing inspections.
Everything in the unit must work as it was designed to work.
If you simply go through the unit and verify that every item is working as it was designed to work, you will pass 95% of the inspection.
Our checklist covered all the electrical, plumbing, heat and air, cosmetics, appliance, and other types of issues on the rental unit.
There is that last 5% of items that are requirements specific to housing that you must also address. Here is a short but incomplete list:
- If the rental property has older wood-frame windows, they must all lock and must stay open of their own accord. Windows can not be sealed shut.
- The discharge line on the hot-water tank needs to be copper, galvanized steel, or CPVC that is properly rated for temperature and pressure.
- Three-prong outlets must be grounded.
- The unit cannot have any chipped or peeling paint.
There are many others. This is just a sample of the types of things that are required for the rental units to pass the Oklahoma Section 8 inspections.
We then went to work training the technicians so they would know what it takes to pass the inspection the first time around.
The unit is likely to pass the inspection once the technician has completed the pre-inspection checklist.
They don’t always pass. Sometimes the inspector finds something we didn’t expect during the inspections.
Or we run across something odd that wasn’t on the checklist. At those times, we update our inspection checklist.
Not only that, but we took advantage of training sessions offered by the local housing authorities. They will tell you what the major stumbling blocks are. They want landlords to pass the inspection the first time, too. It helps them to be more efficient.
One other change we put in place at the suggestion of one of the inspectors was to have a maintenance technician present during the Oklahoma City Section 8 inspection. That way, if something isn’t quite right, we can make a last-minute adjustment to get the unit to pass.
Now that we have a system in place we expect the inspections to pass the first time
It’s worked well for us. We passed more than 50% of our inspections on the first time.
Contact us to determine if we can help.
We would love the opportunity to assist you with your Oklahoma City Section 8 properties.
Benefits of Section 8
Section 8 is a federal rental assistance program that helps low-income families and individuals with safe and decent housing. Section 8 housing program offers several benefits. It makes housing more affordable by providing rental subsidies, reducing the rent participants need to pay every month. Also, it provides freedom to the individuals where they want to live as long they meet the criteria and the landlord participates in the program.
Here are the benefits of participating in the Section 8 housing program for landlords:
- Section 8 program guarantees rent payments from the government which is a reliable and consistent source of rental income.
- It reduces the risk of vacancies since there is typically a high demand for Section 8 housing.
- Increases stability with long-tenured tenants reducing turnover and associated costs of finding new tenants.
- The housing quality standards ensure that the rental units meet safety, sanitation, and condition requirements which offers benefits to both landlords and tenants.
- It also offers access to a diverse tenant base since Section 8 assists individuals and families who may not have been able to afford market-rate rents.
Here are some pros and cons of Section 8 housing.
Most Common Section 8 Inspections Violations
During Section 8 inspections, the inspectors use a checklist to assess rental units. If violations are found, the rental unit will fail the inspection, and the owners are responsible for addressing and repairing the issues.
The most common violations that are typically identified during Section 8 inspection include:
- Lack of locks and deadbolts on exterior doors.
- Chipped or flaking paint, especially in homes where children reside.
- Insufficient smoke detectors on each level of the property.
- Missing or inadequate window screens.
- Improper pressure release valves on hot water heaters and boilers.
- Non-functioning smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Presence of exposed asbestos.
- Unsealed or improperly weatherproofed windows or doors.
- Lack of handrails on both interior and exterior stairs.
- Poor caulking around tubs or showers.
- Inadequate bathroom ventilation or lack of a fan.
- Absence of window locks on first-floor windows.
If you are unaware of what kind of issues your property currently has, then take a look at our Section 8 inspection checklist we use to find the issues and address them as soon as possible. Failing to make necessary repairs before the inspection can significantly decrease the likelihood of approval or re-approval for the property.
Section 8 Inspection Checklist To Pass Your Next OKC Housing Inspection
Here is our Section 8 inspections checklist that will help you pass your next OKC Housing Inspection.
- Everything in the house must work. This is an overarching rule. For example, all windows must open and close properly. There is a very long list of these sorts of things.
- All the light fixtures must have light bulbs.
- Doors and windows must be adequately sealed. No daylight around doors. The windows must stay open by themselves (i.e., not require a prop to keep them open). If the windows have screens, the screens must be in good repair.
- Ventless gas heaters are not acceptable in any living space. If the house is heated by wall-mounted electrical heaters, you must also have baseboard heaters.
- The house cannot have chipped or peeling paint.
- All the appliances must be in the house. They must all be in working order. If the tenant is providing the appliances, they must be in the house at the time of the inspection.
- All the utilities must be turned on.
- The inspector cannot pass an inspection if they see live roaches on the rental unit.
- Toilets cannot be loose.
- The temperature/pressure relief valve on the hot water tank must have a pipe for water to escape if necessary. The pipe must be a material that will not degrade with heat.
- All bedrooms must have one closet, and in addition, must have at least one window.
- There must not be any openings around the outside of the house in which an animal could climb under the house or get inside the walls.
- Water fixtures and toilets must not leak.
- Porches or steps must have handrails if they are more than 18 inches off the ground.
- You can’t have electrical receptacles that are dead. If those receptacles are three-pronged, they must be properly grounded. The field inspectors will have a tester, and they will test them all. All electrical receptacles must be secured to the wall.
Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list. If this looks like a lot to wrap your head around, you are right. Maybe you could use some help.
Get to know Section 8 housing rules and regulations.
Should You Consider Hiring a Property Management Company?
Even once you pass the inspection process, you are still not out of the woods. There are many, many issues that can trip up a landlord who manages their own Section 8 properties. And, in this time of Covid 19, it can be almost impossible to evict a Section 8 tenant.
FAQs on Oklahoma City Section 8 Inspection
How do we pass an Oklahoma City Section 8 Inspection the First Time?
1. All the appliances must be in the house.
2. All the utilities must be turned on.
3. Water fixtures and toilets must not leak.
4. All bedrooms must have one closet, and in addition, must have at least one window.
5. Porches or steps must have handrails if they are more than 18 inches off the ground.
What is the Purpose of a Pre-Inspection?
A pre-listing inspection is done before buying or selling a property. It provides sellers with direct and honest information about the condition of their property, which gives them more control over repairs and possible negotiations.
How likely can you pass an inspection once the technician has done the pre-inspection?
They don’t always pass. Sometimes the inspector detects something we didn’t expect. We run across something odd that wasn’t on the checklist. At those times, we update the checklist.
Do I have to participate in the Section 8 Voucher Program?
You need to contact your local housing authority to know if you have to participate in the Section 8 housing choice voucher program. You will also get to know your local requirements in the process.
What will disqualify you from the Section 8 Program?
The following factors can disqualify you:
1. Have committed fraud
2. Not paying rent on time
3. Violent criminal activity
4. Drug-related criminal activity
5. Serious violation of the lease
What happens during a HUD inspection?
During the Section 8 HUD inspection process, the inspector inspects the overall property, prepares an inspection report, and determines whether the property meets the HUD’s Housing Quality Standards. The HUD’s Housing Quality standards are set forth to make sure that the property is safe for the tenant.
What happens if you fail an inspection in the Section 8 Program?
If you fail a Section 8 inspection, you have time to make the necessary repairs before the re-inspection date. The rent subsidy payments will be discontinued if the repairs are not completed by the next inspection date. This only applies if the tenant is currently residing on the premises.