Room by Room Inspection List – Section 8

HOUSING QUALITY STANDARDS INSPECTIONS

SECTION 8 HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM

Inspections must be performed on rental units to be occupied (or currently occupied) by a participant in a HUD subsidized rental assistance program to determine whether or not they meet the HUD Housing Quality Standards.

These areas are inspected:
Living Room
Kitchen
Bathroom
All Other Rooms Used for Living
All Secondary Rooms Not Used for Living (basement or utility room)
Heating & Plumbing
Building Exterior
General Health & Safety

Following the inspection letters are posted from the Housing Authority Inspector to tenant and owner / property manager informing them of the outcome. If needed the letters will list any necessary repairs and the date these repairs must be completed.

LIVING ROOM

Living Room (Note: If the unit is an efficiency apartment, consider the living room present.)

• Electricity

In order to qualify, the outlets must be present and properly installed in the baseboard, wall or floor of the room. Inspectors are not required to count a single duplex receptacle as two outlets, i.e., there must be two of these in the room, or one of these plus a permanently installed ceiling or wall light fixture. Both the outlets and/or the light must be working. Usually, a room will have sufficient lights or electrical appliances plugged into outlets to determine workability. Be sure the light fixture does not fail just because the bulb is burned out.
Inspectors do not count any of the following items or fixtures as outlets/fixtures:
Table or floor lamps (these are not permanent light fixtures); ceiling lamps plugged into socket; extension cords. If the electric service to the unit has been temporarily turned off the inspection is ''Inconclusive''. The inspector will contact the owner or manager to reschedule the inspection when service is turned on.

• Electrical Hazards

Examples of what this means: broken wiring; noninsulated wiring; frayed wiring; improper types of wiring, connections or insulation; wires lying in or located near standing water or other unsafe places; light fixture hanging from electric wiring without other firm support or fixture; missing cover plates on switches or outlets; badly cracked outlets; exposed fuse box connections; overloaded circuits evidenced by frequently ''blown'' fuses (inspector will ask the tenant). If the Inspector is uncertain about severity of the problem the inspection will be "Inconclusive'' and the owner must seek expert advice.

• Security

"Accessible to outside" means: doors open to the outside or to a common public hall; windows accessible from the outside (e.g. basement and first floor); windows or doors leading onto a fire escape, porch or other outside place that can be reached from the ground.

"Lockable" means: the window or door has a properly working lock, or is nailed shut, or the window is not designed to be opened. A storm window lock that is working properly is acceptable. Windows that are nailed shut are acceptable only if these windows are not needed for ventilation or as an alternate exit in case of fire.

• Window Condition  

Inspectors must rate the windows in the room (including windows in doors).
"Severe deterioration" means that the window no longer has the capacity to keep out the wind and the rain or is a cutting hazard.
Examples are: missing or broken-out panes; dangerously loose cracked panes; windows that will not close; windows that, when closed, do not form a reasonably tight seal. If more than one window in the room is in this condition, the inspector will give details in the inspection report. If there is only "moderate deterioration" of the windows the item should "Pass." "Moderate deterioration" means windows which are reasonably weather-tight, but show evidence of some aging, abuse, or lack of repair.
Signs of deterioration are: minor crack in window pane; splintered sill; signs of some minor rotting in the window frame or the window itself; window panes loose because of missing window putty. Also for deteriorated and peeling paint see information below on lead-based paint.
"Unsound or hazardous" means the presence of such serious defects that either a potential exists for structural collapse or that large cracks or holes allow significant drafts to enter the unit.
The condition includes: severe bulging or buckling; large holes; missing parts; falling or in danger of falling loose surface materials (other than paper or paint). Ceilings that are basically sound but have some nonhazardous defects, including: small holes or cracks; missing or broken ceiling tiles; water stains; soiled surfaces; unpainted surfaces; peeling paint will pass.

• Wall Condition

"Unsound or hazardous" includes: serious defects such that the structural safety of the building is threatened, such as severe buckling, bulging or leaning; damaged or loose structural members; large holes; air infiltration.
Walls that are basically sound but have some nonhazardous defects, including: small or shallow holes; cracks; loose or missing parts; unpainted surfaces; peeling paint will pass.

• Floor Condition

"Unsound or hazardous" means the presence of such serious defects that a potential exists for structural collapse or other threats to safety (e.g., tripping) or large cracks or holes allow substantial drafts from below the floor.
The condition includes: severe buckling or major movements under walking stress; damaged or missing parts.
Floors that are basically sound but have some nonhazardous defects, including: heavily worn or damaged floor surface (for example, scratches or gouges in surface, missing portions of tile or linoleum, previous water damage) will pass. If there is a floor covering, the inspector will also note the condition, especially if badly worn or soiled. If there is a floor covering, including paint or sealant, these conditions will be noted, especially if badly worn, soiled or peeling.

• Lead-Based Paint

Housing Choice Voucher Units:
If the unit was built January 1, 1978, or after, no child under age six will occupy or currently occupies it, is a 0-BR, elderly or handicapped unit with no children under age six on the lease or expected, has been certified lead based paint free by a certified lead-based paint inspector (no lead-based paint present or no lead-based paint present after removal of lead-based paint.), will not be inspected for lead-based painted surfaces.
This requirement applies to all painted surfaces (building components) within the unit. (Do not include tenant belongings). Surfaces to receive a visual assessment for deteriorated paint include walls, floors, ceilings, built in cabinets (sink bases), baseboards, doors, door frames, windows systems including mullions, sills, or frames and any other painted building component within the unit. Deteriorated paint includes any painted surface that is peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged or otherwise separated from the substrate. All deteriorated paint surfaces more than 2 sq. ft. in any one interior room or space, or more than 10% of the total surface area of an interior type of component with a small surface area (i.e., window sills, baseboards, and trim) must be stabilized (corrected) in accordance with all safe work practice requirements and clearance is required. If the deteriorated painted surface is less than 2 sq. ft. or less than 10% of the component, only stabilization is required. Clearance testing is not required. Stabilization means removal of deteriorated paint, repair of the substrate, and application of a new protective coating or paint. Lead-Based Paint Owner Certification is required follow

LIVINGROOM CHECKLIST

Living Room Present. Is there a living room?

• Electricity

Are there at least two working outlets or one working outlet and one working light fixture?

• Electrical Hazards

Is the room free from electrical hazards?

• Security

Are all windows and doors that are accessible from the outside lockable?

• Window Condition

Is there at least one window, and are all windows free of signs of severe deterioration or missing or broken out panes?

• Ceiling Condition

Is the ceiling sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Wall Condition

Are the walls sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Floor Condition

Is the floor sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Lead-Based Paint (if required)

Are all painted surfaces free of deteriorated paint?
If no, does deteriorated surface exceed two square feet and/or more than 10% of a component?

KITCHEN

Kitchen Area Present Note: A kitchen is an area used for preparation of meals. It may be either a separate room or an area of a larger room (for example, a kitchen area in an efficiency apartment).
Explanation for these items is the same as that provided for "Living Room'' with the following modifications:
Electricity Note: The requirement is that at least one outlet and one permanent light fixture are present and working.
Window Condition Note: The absence of a window does not fail this item in the kitchen.

• Stove or Range with Oven

Both an oven and a stove (or range) with top burners must be present and working. If an appliance is missing and the owner is responsible for supplying these appliances inspection must "Fail.'' Inspection is ''Inconclusive'' if the tenant is responsible for supplying the appliances and he or she has not yet moved in. Inspector must contact tenant or prospective tenant to gain verification that facility will be supplied and is in working condition. Hot plates are not acceptable substitutes for these facilities.
An oven is not working if it will not heat up. To be working a stove or range must have all burners working and knobs to turn them off and on. The inspector will also look for hazardous gas hook-ups evidenced by strong gas smells. (Making sure that this condition is not confused with an unlit pilot light -a condition that should be noted, but does not fail.)
If both an oven and a stove or range is present, but the gas or electricity is turned off, the Inspector will check "Inconclusive" and contact owner or manager to reschedule an inspection when gas is turned on.
If both an oven and a stove or range are present and working, but defects exist, the inspector will check "Pass" and note these in the inspection report.
Possible defects are marked, dented, or scratched surfaces; cracked burner ring; limited size relative to family needs.
A microwave oven may be substituted for a tenant-supplied oven and stove (or range).
A microwave oven may be substituted for an owner-supplied oven and stove (or range) if the tenant agrees and microwave ovens are furnished instead of ovens and stoves (or ranges) to both subsidized and unsubsidized tenants in the building or premises.

• Refrigerator

If no refrigerator is present, the Inspector will use the same criteria for marking either "Fail" or "Inconclusive" as were used for the oven and stove or range. A refrigerator is not working if it will not maintain a temperature low enough to keep food from spoiling over a reasonable period of time. If the electricity is turned off the inspector will mark ''Inconclusive" and contact owner (or tenant if unit is occupied) to get verification of working condition.
If the refrigerator is present and working but defects exist these will be noted on the form. Possible minor defects include: broken or missing interior shelving; dented or scratched interior or exterior surfaces; minor deterioration of door seal; loose door handle.

• Sink

If a permanently attached kitchen sink is not present in the kitchen or kitchen area the Inspector will mark ''Fail.'' A sink in a bathroom or a portable basin will not satisfy this requirement. A sink is not working unless it has running hot and cold water from the faucets and a properly connected and properly working drain (with a "gas trap"). In a vacant apartment, the hot water may have been turned off and there will be no hot water. The Inspector will mark this "Inconclusive" and check with owner or manager to verify that hot water is available when service is turned on. If a working sink has defects, this will be noted.
Possible minor defects include: dripping faucet; marked, dented, or scratched surface; slow drain; missing or broken drain stopper.

Space for Storage, Preparation, and Serving of Food
Some space must be available for the storage, preparation, and serving of food. If there is no built-in space for food storage and preparation, a table used for food preparation and a portable storage cabinet will satisfy the requirement. If there is no built-in space, and no room for a table and portable cabinet, the Inspector will check "Inconclusive" and discuss with the tenant. The tenant makes the final determination as to whether or not this space is acceptable.
If there are some minor defects the inspector will check "Pass" and make notes. Possible defects include: marked, dented, or scratched surfaces; broken shelving or cabinet doors; broken drawers or cabinet hardware; limited size relative to family needs.

KITCHEN CHECKLIST

Kitchen Area Present. Is there a kitchen?

• Electricity

Are there at least one working outlet and one working, permanently installed light fixture?

• Electrical Hazards

Is the kitchen free from electrical hazards?

• Security

Are all windows and doors that are accessible from the outside lockable?

• Window Condition

Are all windows free of signs of deterioration or missing or broken out panes?

• Ceiling Condition

Is the ceiling sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Wall Condition

Are the walls sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Floor Condition

Is the floor sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Lead-Based Paint

Are all painted surfaces free of deteriorated paint?
If no, does deteriorated surface exceed two square feet and/or less than 10% of a component?

• Stove or Range with Oven

Is there a working oven, and a stove (or range) with top burners that work?
If no oven and stove (or range) are present, is there a microwave oven and, if microwave is owner-supplied, do other tenants have microwaves instead of an oven and stove (or range)?

• Refrigerator

Is there a refrigerator that works and maintains a temperature low enough so that food does not spoil over a reasonable period of time?

• Sink

Is there a kitchen sink that works with hot and cold running water?
Space for Storage, Preparation, and Serving of Food
Is there space to store, prepare, and serve food?

BATHROOM

Bathroom Present

Most units have easily identifiable bathrooms (i.e., a separate room with toilet, washbasin and tub or shower). In some cases, however, Inspectors may encounter units with scattered bathroom facilities (i.e., toilet. washbasin and tub or shower located in separate parts of the unit). At a minimum, there must be an enclosure around the toilet. In this case, the Inspector will count the enclosure around the toilet as the bathroom and proceed with the requirements listed below with respect to this enclosure.
Explanation for these items is the same as that provided for "Living Room'' with the following modifications:
Electricity Note: The requirement is that at least one permanent light fixture is present and working.
Electrical Hazards Note: In addition to the previously mentioned hazards, outlets that are located where water might splash or collect are considered an electrical hazard.

• Window Condition

Note: The absence of a window does not fail this item in the bathroom (See below titled Ventilation, for relevance of window with respect to ventilation). If there is no window, but a working vent system is present, the inspection will "Pass."

• Wall Condition

Note: Include under nonhazardous defects (that would pass, but should be noted) the following: broken or loose tile; deteriorated grouting at tub/wall and tub/floor joints, or tiled surfaces; water stains.

• Floor Condition

Note: Include under nonhazardous defects (that would pass, but should be noted) the following: missing floor tiles; water stains.

• Flush Toilet in Enclosed Room in Unit

The toilet must be contained within the unit, be in proper operating condition, and be available for the exclusive use of the occupants of the unit (i.e., outhouses or facilities shared by occupants of other units are not acceptable). It must allow for privacy. Not working means: the toilet is not connected to a water supply; it is not connected to a sewer drain; it is clogged; it does not have a trap; the connections, vents or traps are faulty to the extent that severe leakage of water or escape of gases occurs; the flushing mechanism does not function properly. If the water to the unit has been turned off, the inspector checks "Inconclusive" and contact the owner or manager to reschedule an inspection when water is turned on. Addition comment can be made in the inspection report if the toilet is "present, exclusive, and working," but has the following types of defects: constant running; chipped or broken porcelain; slow draining.
If drain blockage is more serious and occurs further in the sewer line, causing backup, the inspection will "Fail," under the plumbing and heating part of the checklist. A sign of serious sewer blockage is the presence of numerous backed-up drains.

• Fixed Wash Basin or Lavatory in Unit

The wash basin must be permanently installed (i.e., a portable wash basin does not satisfy the requirement). Also, a kitchen sink used to pass the requirements under Kitchen Facilities of the checklist cannot also serve as the bathroom wash basin. The wash basin may be located separate from the other bathroom facilities (e.g., in a hallway).
Not working means: the wash basin is not connected to a system that will deliver hot and cold running water; it is not connected to a properly operating drain; the connectors (or vents or traps) are faulty to the extent that severe leakage of water or escape of sewer gases occurs. If the water to the unit or the hot water unit has been turned off, the Inspector will check "Inconclusive" and obtain verification from owner or manager that the system is in working condition.
Inspector will comment on the form if the wash basin is "present and working," but has the following types of minor defects: insufficient water pressure; dripping faucets; minor leaks; cracked or chipped porcelain; slow drain.

• Tub or Shower in Unit

Not present means that neither a tub nor shower is present in the unit.
Again, these facilities need not be in the same room with the rest of the bathroom facilities. They must, however, be private.
Not working covers the same requirements detailed above for wash basin.
The Inspector will comment on the inspection form if the tub or shower is present and working, but has the following types of defects: dripping faucet; minor leaks; cracked porcelain; slow drain; absent or broken support rod for shower curtain.

• Ventilation

Working vent systems include: ventilation shafts (non-mechanical vents) and electric fans. Electric vent fans must function when switch is turned on. (The Inspector will make sure that any malfunctions are not due to the fan not being plugged in.) If electric current to the unit has not been turned on (and there is no open-able window), the Inspector will check "Inconclusive" and contact the owner or manager to reschedule and inspection when the electricity is turned on. Note: exhaust vents must be vented to the outside, attic, or crawlspace.

BATHROOM CHECKLIST

Bathroom Present (See description). Is there a bathroom?

• Electricity

Is there at least one permanently installed light fixture?

• Electrical Hazards

Is the bathroom free from electrical hazards?

• Security

Are all windows and doors that are accessible from the outside lockable?

• Window Condition

Are all windows free of signs of deterioration or missing or broken out panes?

• Ceiling Condition

Is the ceiling sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Wall Condition

Are the walls sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Floor Condition

Is the floor sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Lead-Based Paint

Are all painted surfaces free of deteriorated paint? If no, does a deteriorated surface exceed two square feet and/or more than 10% of a component?

• Flush Toilet in Enclosed Room in Unit

Is there a working toilet in the unit for the exclusive private use of the tenant?

• Fixed Wash Basin or Lavatory in Unit

Is there a working, permanently installed wash basin with hot and cold running water in the unit?

• Tub or Shower

Is there a working tub or shower with hot and cold running water in the unit?

• Ventilation

Are there open-able windows or a working vent system?

OTHER ROOMS, SUPPLEMENTAL ROOMS, SECONDARY ROOMS

• Other Room Used for Living and Halls

Definition of "used for living."
Rooms "used for living" are areas of the unit that are walked through or lived in on a regular basis. This does not include rooms or other areas that have been permanently, or near permanently, closed off or areas that are infrequently entered. For example, this does not include a utility room, attached shed, attached closed-in porch, basement, or garage if they are closed off from the main living area or are infrequently entered. It does include any of these areas if they are frequently used (e.g., a finished basement/playroom, a closed-in porch that is used as a bedroom during summer months). Occasional use of a washer or dryer in an otherwise unused room does not constitute regular use.
If the unit is vacant and the Inspector does not know the eventual use of a particular room, they must inspect if there is any chance that the room will be used on a regular basis.

• Supplemental for Other Rooms Used for Living and Halls

1 = Bedroom or Any Other Room Used for Sleeping (regardless of type of room)
2 = Dining Room or Dining Area
3 = Second Living Room, Family Room, Den, Playroom, TV Room
4 = Entrance Halls, Corridors, Halls, Staircases
5 = Additional Bathroom (also check presence of sink trap and clogged toilet)
6 = Other:

OTHER ROOMS CHECKLIST

• Electricity/Illumination

If Room Code is a 1, are there at least two working outlets or one working outlet and one working, permanently installed light fixture?
If Room Code is not a 1, is there a means of illumination?

• Electrical Hazards

Is the room free from electrical hazards?

• Security

Are all windows and doors that are accessible from the outside lockable?

• Window Condition

If Room Code is a 1, is there at least one window? And, regardless of Room Code, are all windows free of signs of severe deterioration or missing or broken out panes?

• Ceiling Condition

Is the ceiling sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Wall Condition

Are the walls sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Floor Condition

Is the floor sound and free from hazardous defects?

• Lead-Based Paint

Are all painted surfaces free of deteriorated paint? If no, do deteriorated surfaces exceed two square feet and/or more than 10% of a component?

• Smoke Detectors

Is there a working smoke detector on each level?
Do the smoke detectors meet the requirements of NFPA 74?
In units occupied by the hearing impaired, is there an alarm system connected to the smoke detector?

BUILDING EXTERIOR

Building Exterior
Condition of Foundation

''Unsound or hazardous'' means foundations with severe structural defects indicating the potential for structural collapse; or foundations that allow significant entry of ground water (for example, evidenced by flooding of basement)

• Condition of Stairs, Rails, and Porches

"Unsound or hazardous" means: stairs, porches, balconies, or decks with severe structural defects; broken, rotting, or missing steps; absence of a handrail when there are extended lengths of steps (generally four or more consecutive steps); absence of or insecure railings around a porch or balcony which is approximately 30 inches or more above the ground.

• Condition of Roof and Gutters

"Unsound and hazardous" means: The roof has serious defects such as serious buckling or sagging, indicating the potential of structural collapse; large holes or other defects that would result in significant air or water infiltration (in most cases severe exterior defects will be reflected in equally serious surface defects within the unit, e.g., buckling, water damage). The gutters, downspouts and soffits (area under the eaves) show serious decay and have allowed the entry of significant air or water into the interior of the structure. Gutters and downspouts are, however, not required to pass. If the roof is not observable and there is no sign of interior water damage, the Inspector will check "Pass."

Condition of Exterior Surfaces

• Condition of Chimney

The chimney should not be seriously leaning or showing evidence of significant disintegration (i.e., many missing bricks).

• Lead-Based Paint: Exterior Surfaces

• Housing Choice Voucher Units:

If the unit was built January 1, 1978, or after, no child under age six will occupy or currently occupies it, is a 0-BR, elderly or handicapped unit with no children under age six on the lease or expected, has been certified lead based paint free by a certified lead-based paint inspector (no lead-based paint present or no lead-based paint present after removal of lead-based paint.), will not be inspected for lead-based painted surfaces.
This requirement applies to all painted surfaces (building components) within the unit. (Do not include tenant belongings). Surfaces to receive a visual assessment for deteriorated paint include walls, floors, ceilings, built in cabinets (sink bases), baseboards, doors, door frames, windows systems including mullions, sills, or frames and any other painted building component within the unit. Deteriorated paint includes any painted surface that is peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged or otherwise separated from the substrate. All deteriorated paint surfaces more than 2 sq. ft. in any one interior room or space, or more than 10% of the total surface area of an interior type of component with a small surface area (i.e., window sills, baseboards, and trim) must be stabilized (corrected) in accordance with all safe work practice requirements and clearance is required. If the deteriorated painted surface is less than 2 sq. ft. or less than 10% of the component, only stabilization is required. Clearance testing is not required. Stabilization means removal of deteriorated paint, repair of the substrate, and application of a new protective coating or paint. Lead-Based Paint Owner Certification is required following stabilization activities, except for de minimis level repairs.

• Manufactured Homes: Tie Downs

Manufactured homes must be placed on a site in a stable manner and be free from hazards such as sliding and wind damage. Manufactured homes must be securely anchored by a tie-down device which distributes and transfers the loads imposed by the unit to appropriate ground anchors so as to resist wind overturning and sliding, unless a variation has been approved by the HUD Field Office.

BUILDING EXTERIOR CHECKLIST

• Security

Are all windows and doors that are accessible from the outside lockable?

• Electrical Hazards

Are all these rooms free from electrical hazards?

• Other Potentially Hazardous Features

Are all of these rooms free of any other potentially hazardous features? For each room with an "other potentially hazardous feature," explain the hazard and the means of control of interior access to the room.

• Building Exterior Condition of Foundation

Is the foundation sound and free from hazards?

• Condition of Stairs, Rails, and Porches

Are all the exterior stairs, rails, and porches sound and free from hazards?

• Condition of Roof and Gutters

Are the roof, gutters, and downspouts sound and free from hazards?

• Condition of Exterior Surfaces

Are exterior surfaces sound and free from hazards?

• Condition of Chimney

Is the chimney sound and free from hazards?

• Lead-Based Paint: Exterior Surfaces

Are all painted surfaces free of deteriorated paint? If no, does deteriorated surface exceed 20 sq. ft. of total exterior surface area?

• Manufactured Homes: Tie Downs

If the unit is a manufactured home, is it properly placed and tied down?

VENTILATION, HEATING, PLUMBING

• Ventilation and Adequacy of Cooling

If the tenant is present and has occupied the unit during the summer months, inquire about the adequacy of air flow. If the tenant is not present or has not occupied the unit during the summer months, test a sample of windows to see that they open (see Inspection Manual for instruction).
"Working cooling equipment'' includes: central (fan) ventilation system; evaporative cooling system; room or central air conditioning. Check "Inconclusive" if there are no open-able windows and it is impossible, or inappropriate, to test whether a cooling system works. Check with other tenants in the building (in a muIti-unit structure) and with the owner or manager for verification of the adequacy of ventilation and cooling.

• Water Heater

"Location presents hazard'' means that the gas or oil water heater is located in living areas or closets where safety hazards may exist (e.g., water heater located in very cluttered closet with cloth and paper items stacked against it). Gas water heaters in bedrooms or other living areas must have safety dividers or shields. Water heaters must have a temperature-pressure relief valve and discharge line (directed toward the floor or outside of the living area) as a safeguard against build up of steam if the water heater malfunctions. If not, they are not properly equipped and shall fail. To pass, gas or oil fired water heaters must be vented into a properly installed chimney or flue leading outside. Electric water heaters do not require venting. If it is impossible to view the water heater, check "Inconclusive." Obtain verification of safety of system from owner or manager. Check "Pass" if the water heater has passed a local inspection. This applies primarily to hot water that is supplied by a large scale complex water heating system that serves multiple units (e.g., water heating system in large apartment building). Check in the same manner described for heating system safety above.

• Water Supply

If the structure is connected to a city or town water system, check ''Pass." If the structure has a private water supply (usually in rural areas) inquire into the nature of the supply (probably from the owner) and whether it is approvable by an appropriate public agency.

• Plumbing

"Major leaks" means that main water drain and feed pipes (often located in the basement) are seriously leaking. (Leaks present at specific facilities have already been evaluated under the checklist items for "Bathroom" and "Kitchen.")
"Corrosion" (causing serious and persistent levels of rust or contamination in the drinking water) can be determined by observing the color of the drinking water at several taps. Badly corroded pipes will produce noticeably brownish water. If the tenant is currently occupying the unit, he or she should be able to provide information about the persistence of this condition. (Make sure that the "rusty water" is not a temporary condition caused by city or town maintenance of main water lines.)

• Sewer Connection

If the structure is connected to the city or town sewer system, check "Pass." If the structure has its own private disposal system (e.g., septic field), inquire into the nature of the system and determine whether this type of system can meet appropriate health and safety regulations.
The following conditions constitute "evidence of sewer back up": strong sewer gas smell in the basement or outside of unit; numerous clogged or very slow drains; marshy areas outside of unit above septic field.

• Heating and Plumbing

Adequacy of Heating Equipment
"Adequate heat" means that the heating system is capable of delivering enough heat to assure a healthy environment in the unit (appropriate to the climate). The HA is responsible for defining what constitutes a healthy living environment in the area of the country in which it operates. Local codes (city or state codes) should be instructive in arriving at a reasonable local definition. For example, for heat adequacy, local codes often require that the unit's heating facility be capable of maintaining a given temperature level during a designated time period. Portable electric room heaters or kitchen stoves or ranges with a built-in heat unit are not acceptable as a primary source of heat for units located in areas where climate conditions require regular heating. "Directly or indirectly to all rooms used for living" means: "directly" means that each room used for living has a heat source (e.g., working radiator; working hot air register; baseboard heat) ''indirectly'' means that, if there is no heat source present in the room, heat can enter the room easily from a heated adjacent room (e.g. a dining room may not have a radiator, but would receive heat from the heated living room through a large open archway). If the heating system in the unit works, but there is some question whether a room without a heat source would receive adequate indirect heat, check "Inconclusive" and verify adequacy from tenant or owner (e.g., unheated bedroom at the end of a long hallway).
How to determine the capability of the heating system: If the unit is occupied, usually the quickest way to determine the capability of the heating system over time is to question the tenant. If the unit is not occupied, or the tenant has not lived in the unit during the months when heat would be needed, check "Inclusive." It will be necessary to question the owner on this point after the inspection has been completed and, if possible, to question other tenants (if it is a muIti-unit structure) about the adequacy of heat provided.
Under some circumstances, the adequacy of heat can be determined by a simple comparison of the size of the heating system to the area to be heated. For example, a small permanently installed space heater in a living room is probably inadequate for heating anything larger than a relatively small apartment.

• Safety of Heating Equipment

Examples of "unvented fuel burning space heaters" are: portable kerosene units; unvented open flame portable units.
''Other unsafe conditions'' include: breakage or damage to heating system such that there is a potential for fire or other threats to safety; improper connection of flues allowing exhaust gases to enter the living area; improper installation of equipment (e.g., proximity of fuel tank to heat source, absence of safety devices); indications of improper use of equipment (e.g., evidence of heavy build-up of soot, creosote, or other substance in the chimney); disintegrating equipment; combustible materials near heat source or flue. See Inspection Manual for a more detailed discussion of the inspection of safety aspects of the heating systems. If it is impossible to gain access to the primary heating system in the unit the Inspector will check ''Inconclusive" and contact the owner or manager for verification of safety of the system. If the system has passed a recent local inspection, the Inspector will check ''Pass." This applies especially to units in which heat is provided by a large scale, complex central heating system that serves multiple units (e.g., a boiler in the basement of a large apartment building). In most cases, a large scale heating system for a multi-unit building will be subject to periodic safety inspections by a local

VENTILATION, HEATING AND PLUMBING CHECKLIST

• Heating and Plumbing

Adequacy of Heating Equipment
Is the heating equipment capable of providing adequate heat (either directly or indirectly) to all rooms used for living?

• Safety of Heating Equipment

Is the unit free from unvented fuel burning space heaters or any other types of unsafe heating conditions?

• Ventilation and Adequacy of Cooling

Does the unit have adequate ventilation and cooling by means of open-able windows or a working cooling system?

• Water Heater

Is the water heater located, equipped, and installed in a safe manner?

• Water Supply

Is the unit served by an approvable public or private sanitary water supply?

• Plumbing

Is plumbing free from major leaks or corrosion that causes serious and persistent levels of rust or contamination of the drinking water?

• Sewer Connection

Is plumbing connected to an approvable public or private disposal system, and is it free from sewer back-up?

GENERAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

• General Health and Safety

Access to Unit
"Through another unit" means that access to the unit is only possible by means of passage through another dwelling unit.

• Exits

"Acceptable fire exit" means that the building must have an alternative means of exit that meets local or State regulations in case of fire; this could include:
An open-able window if the unit is on the first floor or second floor or easily accessible to the ground. A back door opening on to a porch with a stairway leading to the ground.
Fire escape, fire ladder, or fire stairs. "Blocked" means that the exit is not useable due to conditions such as debris, storage, door or window nailed shut, broken lock.
Important note: The Housing Authority has the final responsibility for deciding whether the type of emergency exit is acceptable, although the tenant should assist in making the decision.

• Evidence of Infestation

"Presence of rats or severe infestation by mice or vermin" (such as roaches) is evidenced by: rat holes; droppings; rat runs; numerous settings of rat poison. If the unit is occupied, ask the tenant.

• Garbage and Debris

"Heavy accumulation" means large piles of trash and garbage, discarded furniture, and other debris (not temporarily stored awaiting removal) that might harbor rodents. This may occur inside the unit, in common areas, or outside. It usually means a level of accumulation beyond the capacity of an individual to pick up within an hour or two.

• Refuse Disposal

"Adequate covered facilities" includes: trash cans with covers, garbage chutes, "dumpsters" (i.e., large scale refuse boxes with lids); trash bags (if approvable by local public agency).
"Approvable by local public agency" means that the local Health and Sanitation Department (city, town or county) approves the type of facility in use. Note: During the period when the HA is setting up its inspection program, it will check with the local health and sanitation department to determine which types of facilities are acceptable and include this in the inspection requirements.
If the unit is vacant and there are no adequate covered facilities present, the Inspector will check "Inconclusive" and contact the owner or manager for verification of facilities provided when the unit is occupied.

• Interior Stairs and Common Halls

''Loose, broken, or missing steps'' should fail if they present a serious risk of tripping or falling. A handrail is required on extended sections of stairs (generally four or more consecutive steps). A railing is required on unprotected heights such as around stairwells.
"Other hazards" would be conditions such as bare electrical wires and tripping hazards.

• Other Interior Hazards

Examples of other hazards might be: a broken bathroom fixture with a sharp edge in a location where it represents a hazard; a protruding nail in a doorway.
Elevators
Note: At the time the HA is setting up its inspection program, it will determine local licensing practices for elevators. Inspectors should then be aware of these practices in evaluating this item (e.g., check inspection date).

• Interior Air Quality

If the Inspector has any questions about whether an existing poor air quality condition should be considered dangerous, he or she should check with the local Health and Safety Department (city, town or county).
Site and Neighborhood Conditions
Examples of conditions that would "seriously and continuously endanger the health or safety of the residents" are: other buildings on, or near the property, that pose serious hazards (e.g., dilapidated shed or garage with potential for structural collapse), evidence of flooding or major drainage problems, evidence of mud slides or large land settlement or collapse, proximity to open sewage, unprotected heights (cliffs, quarries, mines, sandpits), fire hazards, abnormal air pollution or smoke which continues throughout the year and is determined to seriously endanger health, and continuous or excessive vibration of vehicular traffic (if the unit is occupied, ask the tenant).

GENERAL HEALTH AND SAFETY CHECKLIST

• General Health and Safety

Access to Unit
Can the unit be entered without having to go through another unit?

• Exits

Is there an acceptable fire exit from this building that is not blocked?

• Evidence of Infestation

Is the unit free from rats or severe infestation by mice or vermin?

• Garbage and Debris

Is the unit free from heavy accumulation of garbage or debris inside and outside?

• Refuse Disposal

Are there adequate covered facilities for temporary storage and disposal of food wastes, and are they approvable by a local agency?

• Interior Stairs and Common Halls

Are interior stairs and common halls free from hazards to the occupant because of loose, broken, or missing steps on stairways; absent or insecure railings; inadequate lighting; or other hazards?

• Other Interior Hazards

Is the interior of the unit free from any other hazard not specifically identified previously?

• Elevators

Where local practice requires, do all elevators have a current inspection certificate? If local practice does not require this, are they working and safe?

• Interior Air Quality

Is the unit free from abnormally high levels of air pollution from vehicular exhaust, sewer gas, fuel gas, dust, or other pollutants?

• Site and Neighborhood Conditions

Are the site and immediate neighborhood free from conditions which would seriously and continuously endanger the health or safety of the residents?

LEAD-BASED PAINT OWNER CERTIFICAION

• Lead-Based Paint: Owner Certification

If the owner is required to correct any lead-based paint hazards at the property including deteriorated paint or other hazards identified by a visual assessor, a certified lead-based paint risk assessor, or certified lead-based paint inspector, the PHA must obtain certification that the work has been done in accordance with all applicable requirements of 24 CFR The Lead-Based Paint Owner Certification must be received by the PHA before the execution of the HAP contract or within the time period stated by the PHA in the owner HQS violation notice. Receipt of the completed and signed Lead-Based Paint Owner Certification signifies that all HQS lead-based paint requirements have been met and no re-inspection by the HQS inspector is required.

• Lead-Based Paint: Owner Certification 

If the owner of the unit is required to correct any deteriorated paint or lead-based paint hazards at the property, has the Lead-Based Paint Owner's Certification been completed, and received by the Housing Authority?