Helpful Hints for Inspections


The Landlord is responsible, under the terms of the HAP Contract, for ensuring that the unit meets Housing Quality Standards (HQS).

If the MHA conducts an inspection at any time during the term of the lease and the unit does not pass inspection, a written inspection report will be mailed to you, giving a specific time period (known as the “HQS Due Date”) to make any “owner” required repairs.

A re-inspection will be made on or shortly after the HQS Due Date. If you have failed to make all “owner” required repairs, then MHA is required to enforce your landlord obligations under the HAP Contract by stopping HAP Payments. This is known as an “Abatement”. In other words, a Landlord is not entitled to receive HAP Payments when they fail to make repairs by the HQS Due Date.

If the HAP payment is abated, the tenant is only responsible for continuing to pay you their share of the rent. The abatement is a penalty against housing assistance payments only – you cannot collect any of the penalty from the tenant.

A second and final re-inspection will be conducted before the HAP Contract is cancelled by MHA. If all owner repairs have been made, the HAP payments will resume, but will be pro-rated from the date the unit passes the final re-inspection.

Abatement hurts everyone –

  • Loss of rental income for Owners
  • Loss of management fees for Property Managers
  • Reduction in number of units available for Section 8 Participants
  • Additional processing time for Section 8 Staff

You can be successful in maintaining your unit to HQS Standards by taking a few simple steps to manage your property more effectively.


COMPLETE ALL REPAIRS: Double check the list to make sure that nothing has been overlooked, especially if someone else is doing the repairs. This is the most common source of abatement.

THE REPORT IS NOT CLEAR AND YOU HAVE QUESTIONS: First, visit the unit to see what the inspector was looking at. The time to ask questions is when the report is received, not after the due date or the re-inspection. The inspector’s name and telephone number is listed on the cover letter for each inspection.

COMPLETE ALL REPAIRS, EVEN IF THE TENANT WILL BE MOVING: Housing assistance payments cannot be made for any period past the HQS due date listed on the inspection report, regardless of the fact that the tenant may be moving out of your unit. Most annual inspections are conducted well in advance of the date the tenant is to vacate.

KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN WITH THE TENANT: Maintain a good relationship with your tenants. They can act as your eyes and ears and help protect your assets by notifying you of any problems before they become severe.

COMMUNICATE IN WRITING WITH YOUR TENANT: All notifications and agreements should be in writing. Keep hard copies in your files to prevent any misunderstandings. This will also help both parties follow through with agreements.

RESPOND QUICKLY TO TENANT REQUESTS: Taking immediate action may save you money in the long run by solving a problem before it gets worse.

ESTABLISH A ROUTINE MAINTENANCE PLAN: Having a maintenance plan will help you repair things in a timely manner and keep repair costs within your budget.

VISIT YOUR PROPERTY REGULARLY: It is a good idea to keep a check on your property on a regular basis. More frequent visits may be necessary when a tenant first moves in to ensure they are keeping your property according to the lease terms.

REVIEW YOUR LEASE: Knowing the obligations of both you and your tenant under the lease will help ensure your success as a Landlord.

THE TENANT HAS CHANGED THE LOCKS AND I CANNOT GET IN THE UNIT: This is a lease violation which you must enforce and no extensions are granted to complete repairs. You must maintain access to your unit.

LOCKS AND KEYS: Resident is prohibited from adding locks to, changing, or in any way altering locks installed on the doors of the unit, without the written permission of Landlord.

THE TENANT FAILS TO KEEP APPOINTMENTS TO HAVE REPAIRS MADE: Service calls to the unit can be costly, especially if no one is home. Again, there are no extensions granted to complete repairs. Sometimes you must meet the repairman to assure access to the unit is gained. It’s always best to not enter a unit alone, or leave the repairman alone.

RIGHT OF ACCESS: Landlord shall have the right of access to the unit for inspection and maintenance during reasonable hours. In case of emergency, Landlord may enter at any time to protect life and prevent damage to the property.

CAN I GET AN EXTENSION? Extensions may be granted for a particular item(s) if the repair cannot be completed in time due to valid reasons, such as severe weather conditions (tornado, flood, etc.). A completed extension form must be submitted no later than ten days prior to the HQS due date and must state the following:

  1. what item(s) are you requesting an extension for
  2. reason(s) why an extension is being requested
  3. length of time requested (normally no more than 2 weeks).

Please submit your completed extension request form to the attention of:

  • S/8 HQS Inspections Process Specialist
    c/o Macon Housing Authority
    PO Box 4928
    Macon GA 31208-4928

Make sure you reference the tenant name, unit address, and type of inspection (Annual, Special, etc.) Your request will then be reviewed and you will receive a written response approving or declining the extension.

Please consider all of the preceding information carefully and retain this for future reference.