Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection
COVID-19 Updates and Announcements
Information for Participants, Applicants, Owners/Landlords and Stakeholders
In order to ensure the health and safety of our participants, owner/landlord partners and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak, effective March 19, 2020, the Loudoun County Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program has suspended all Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections except emergency complaint inspections and inspections for HCV participant moving into units.
The following is a summary of actions for each inspection type:
Inspections for HCV Participants Moving into Units
Loudoun County will continue to conduct all initial inspections according to the Loudoun County’s Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan (PDF). The unit must be vacant and move-in ready. HCV housing counselors will be providing more information directly to owners/landlords who have notified us that they are ready to lease units to HCV voucher holders.
Annual inspections are suspended effective March 19, 2020, through July 31, 2020. Loudoun County will be providing more information directly to HCV residents and landlords to reschedule any suspended inspections.
Emergency Complaint Inspections
Loudoun County will continue to conduct emergency complaint inspections.
Non-Emergency Complaint Inspections
Effective March 19, 2020, through July 31, 2020, if a reported deficiency is non-life-threatening, Loudoun County will notify the owner/landlord of the reported deficiency within 30 days and the owner/landlord must either make the repair or document that the deficiency does not exist within 30 days of the notification or any Loudoun County-approved extension.
Quality Control Inspections
Effective March 19, 2020, through October 31, 2020, all quality control inspections have been discontinued.
Effective March 19, 2020, and until further notice, all move-out inspections have been discontinued.
Additionally, the voucher issuance process for both new participants and participants moving with continued assistance will be conducted remotely.
Housing Search and Leasing Process
After the Loudoun County HCV Program determines that a family is eligible to participate in the HCV program, and has conducted the program briefing, the HCV counselor will issue the family a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV form HUD-52646), which authorizes the family to search for housing. The Housing Choice Voucher specifies the unit size for which the family qualifies. This unit size is used to determine the amount of assistance that Loudoun County will pay to the owner/landlord on behalf of the family. The Housing Choice Voucher contains a brief description of how the program works and explains the family obligations under the program.
The family must submit a completed Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) form to their HCV Housing Counselor, prior to the expiration date stated on the Housing Choice Voucher. Following receipt of the RTA, the HCV Housing Inspector will contact the owner/landlord to schedule a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection within 5 to 10 business days. The HCV participant should not sign a lease or move into the home until it passes inspection.
Before approving the assisted tenancy and executing the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with the owner/landlord, Loudoun County must ensure that the following program requirements have been met:
- The unit is eligible.
- The unit has been inspected by Loudoun County and meets HQS.
- The owner/landlord and HCV participant have executed the lease, including the HUD-prescribed tenancy addendum and lead-based paint disclosure information.
- The rent charged by the owner/landlord is reasonable.
The Loudoun County HCV Program is required to inspect each subsidized unit at least once a year to ensure compliance with Housing Quality Standards. If the unit fails the annual inspection, the owner/landlord is given a minimum of thirty days written notice to make repairs. However, any failed item that could result in a life-threatening situation, must be repaired within 24 hours. Owners/landlords are encouraged to inspect their units on a regularly scheduled basis and prior to the annual HQS inspection.
For more information, see Housing Quality Standards Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).
- Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Repair Owner/Landlord Certification (PDF) – This form is used to certify that HQS deficiencies listed on the inspection summary have been corrected. Both the owner/landlord and the HCV participant may use this form to certify in writing that the repairs have been completed prior to the deadline indicated in the repair letter.
- Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Self-Inspection Checklist (PDF) – This generalized checklist is used to assist the owner/landlord and HCV participant prepare for a HQS Inspection. This checklist is for information only and not intended as a complete inspection list.
- Housekeeping Tips and Techniques (PDF) for maintaining your home.