Learn About Multi-Family Physical Inspection Scores

The federal government ensures that members of the public can access historical housing inspection scores for any given property. This information is considered public record since it is funded by taxpayers. Taxpayers and members of the voting public have a vested interest in making sure that their hard-earned dollars are going towards programs that will improve the safety and security of their communities. Affordable housing programs like Section 8 can do this if it is thoroughly inspected to ensure that it meets the standards of traditional housing on the market.


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Data Sourced from The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R).


Discover HUD Property Inspection Scores

The office in charge of administering Section 8 housing inspections is the HUD Real Estate Assessment Center.

This office has a team of inspectors that conduct assessments of housing conditions around the country.

These inspectors are trained to evaluate the state of several types of housing units. The types of properties that are required to be inspected include:

  • Single-family homes.
  • Multi-family buildings.
  • Apartment buildings.
  • Public housing units.

There is a long list of items that are considered in an inspection. HUD inspections are thorough and cover the inside as well as the outside of a multi-family unit and its grounds.

The specialized team of inspectors are trained to evaluate whether or not certain aspects of a property are safe and secure.

This helps ensure that the tenant is afforded fair and decent housing that is on par with what they could expected to find in the traditional housing market.

HUD inspectors have a checklist and that they work with and they grade the following items against standards set by the Real Estate Assessment Center:

  • Grounds maintenance
  • Building security
  • The condition of the interior and exterior walls, ceiling and floors
  • Electrical wiring
  • Range and oven
  • Refrigerator and freezer
  • Plumbing and waterflow
  • Presence of ventilation
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Proper storage space
  • Bathroom surfaces: toilets, shower, tub and sinks
  • Smoke detectors
  • Outside stairs, railings and porches
  • Chimney
  • Elevators
  • Handicap accessibility
  • Foundation
  • Cleanliness of common areas
  • Amenities
  • Pest control
  • Quality of air and water
  • Fire extinguishers and exits

State budgets determine how many HUD homes will be inspected each year. Inspections are conducted on both housing that is in use and housing that is pending approval for acceptance into the program. There are also special inspections that are conducted by request.

These special inspections may be requested anytime either by a landlord who feels that a property is intentionally being damaged by a tenant or by tenants who feel that the landlord is not properly maintaining the property. For extra assurance, inspections supervisors perform random inspections following a regular inspection.

To demonstrate, approximately 20,000 spot inspections were conducted by HUD officials last year. Records of inspections are archived and made public.

What does the multi-family unite housing inspection entail?

Anytime HUD representatives arrange for an inspection to be conducted at a property, the landlord must be in attendance. Also, a member of the family who is residing in the housing unit must also be in attendance. The family member must be an adult who is at least 18 years of age.

Typically, it is best that the occupant that called for the spot inspection be the representative for the family so that he or she can express any complaints in detail.

If the result of an inspection is either a ‘fail’ or ‘inconclusive’, it is re responsibility of the property owner to make the necessary changes or improvements to the property prior to the next scheduled inspection.

Failure to do so has detrimental results for the landlord and can result in an unfortunate circumstance for the tenant.

A score of ‘fail’ is given to unites that fail to comply with even one of the items on the HUD list of Housing and Quality Standards. On the other hand, an ‘inconclusive’ finding is granted when an inspector fails to obtain entry into any areas of the property due for inspection.

For example, if the room containing the electrical fuse box is locked and the inspector is not granted entry, then he or she will be forced to score the inspection as ‘inconclusive.’ If following this finding a property owner fails schedule a follow-up inspection, he or she is subject to receiving a ‘fail’ score.

If on the other hand the landlord does in fact make the changes necessary to pass the inspection, he or she will receive a ‘pass’ score. It is to the property owner’s advantage to comply with the standards set by the HUD program.

Failure to do so will result in the property being labeled ‘non-approved’ for rent subsidization through the Section 8 program. Property owners do, however, have the right to file paperwork requesting an extension so that they may make any required repairs or improvements.

In the event that the landlord has gone through all of his or her allotted extension requests and the housing unit still does not meet HUD standards, the occupant will be permitted to end their lease and use their voucher elsewhere.

How can I view HUD inspection reports?

As mentioned previously, the agency of Housing and Urban Development keeps archived records of property inspections conducted as well as of the scores of those inspections. This information can be accessed by the public in the Federal Register notices 66 FR 59084 for the public housing and 65 FR77230 for the office of housing programs.

Inspections reports are conveniently available online.

These inspection reports are valuable resources for members of the voting public to use in their research into the housing conditions in their area. Activist organization as well disseminate this information to an attempt to obtain allegiance for certain causes.

Additionally, legislative bodies such as state, city and county governments use this information to figure out the current and future housing needs of their communities.


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