The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) inspects subsidized apartments prior to a tenant’s leasing, and generally every two years after that. This is to ensure that the unit is safe and maintained properly, in compliance with federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS) requirements. It allows an owner to continue to receive the monthly Housing Assistance Payments (HAP).

HPD's Division of Code Enforcement conducts the HQS inspections for the HPD Section 8 Program, while the Division of Tenant Resources (DTR) oversees the enforcement of HQS compliance related to the Section 8 subsidy. The inspectors are following Section 8 standards for apartments and public areas, New York City Housing Maintenance Code (HMC), and the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL).

Online

Learn more about HPD Section 8 HQS Inspections for:

By Mail

Call 311 to request a paper copy of Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection FAQs.

All Section 8 tenants are required to provide access to HPD employees to allow them to perform the required inspection. You must also allow the landlord access to the apartment to make repairs. A family that repeatedly fails to provide access may be terminated from the program.

If a unit fails an HQS inspection, the tenant and owner will be notified of what specific HQS Failures were found, and whether the failures are the responsibility of the owner or the tenant to correct. The owner is not responsible for tenant-caused breaches of HQS. If a tenant fails to correct an HQS violation, they risk losing their subsidy.

Tenants must maintain HQS and HPD will hold them responsible for damage or violations that cause a unit to fail inspection. HQS Failures that are the tenant’s responsibility to correct will require a re-inspection. HPD will notify the tenant in writing of the failure that is their responsibility to correct and the re-inspection date.

HPD generally holds tenants responsible for the following HQS violations:

  • Nonfunctioning smoke detectors (battery-operated, battery dead)
  • Nonfunctioning smoke detectors (electric, tenant pays electrical utilities)
  • Missing smoke detectors (smoke detector was present on initial or last annual inspection)
  • No electricity (tenant pays electrical utilities)
  • No gas (tenant pays gas utilities)
  • Double cylinder lock on exit door
  • Illegal gates on fire escape windows
  • Debris that blocks access to exit doors or fire escape windows
  • Kitchen grease that constitutes a fire hazard
  • Damage caused by tenant or tenant's guest
  • Nonfunctioning carbon monoxide detector (battery-operated, battery dead)
  • Nonfunctioning carbon monoxide detector (electric, tenant pays electrical utilities)

Tenant Request for Re-Inspection

If your landlord fails to make repairs, you can request a re-inspection by phone.

Call 311 for assistance.

Landlords can prevent failed inspections by providing access to all public areas of the building on the inspection date. Any failures in the public areas – including no access to inspect the building’s heating system– will result in a failure and/or violation and cause any subsidized apartment inspected on or after that day to fail the HQS Inspection until the failure and/or violation is validly certified or closed.

If a unit fails a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection, the tenant and owner will be notified of what specific HQS Failures were found, and whether the failures are the responsibility of the owner or the tenant to correct. The owner is not responsible for tenant-caused breaches of HQS. If a tenant fails to correct an HQS violation, they risk losing their subsidy.

Correcting an Owner Caused Failure

Owners may self-certify the correction of Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Failures. Timelines for clearing up HQS Failures and/or violations of the New York City Housing Maintenance Code (HMC) or the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL) may be different. In order to satisfy all requirements, the condition must be corrected by the earliest correction date appearing on the notice, and certified as corrected by the earliest certification date appearing on the notice.

If an owner fails to correct HQS violations within the required timeframe, HPD will abate the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) until the violations are corrected. HQS violations may result in the termination, suspension or reduction of HAP, or the termination of the HAP contract.

All Notices of Violation(s)/HQS Failure(s) that result from the inspection will be sent to the managing agent indicated on the most recent valid HPD Property Registration. It is your responsibility to be validly registered under NYC law.

Owners can register:

Online

Register a building using HPD's Property Registration Online System (PROS).

By Email

Send a message to register@hpd.nyc.gov.

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

The following are considered to be emergency conditions. The landlord must repair them within 24 hours.If the landlord fails to make repair, he or she will lose Housing Assistance Payments (HAP).

  • No window guards when children 10 years-old or younger live in the apartment
  • No hot water anytime and no heat during "Heat Season" (October-May)
  • Broken, non insulated, or frayed electrical wiring
  • Serious defects to ceilings or walls where there is a potential for collapse

The City notifies the landlord if an apartment fails a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. The City sends the owner a Certification of Corrected Repairs (CCR) form. Once repairs are complete, the owner must fill out and return the CCR form by mail or fax within twenty-eight (28) days.

By Fax

Fax the completed form to (212) 863-8622.

By Mail

Housing Preservation and Development, City of New York
100 Gold Street, Room 4N
New York, NY 10038