Housing Quality Standards Common Failed Items

To participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, landlords must ensure that their units are in compliance with Housing Quality Standards (HQS) set by federal regulations and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The following common failed item checklist is intended to provide guidance to landlords, to ensure their units pass HQS inspections conducted by the City of Douglas PHA. Please be advised this is not an all-inclusive list of every possible failed item.

Common Failed Items


  • Unit must be in "made ready" status only. Make ready status is defined as a unit that is ready for immediate move-in, for example, by having all utilities on , a working stove/refrigerator, no trash/debris on site, and working heating equipment (regardless of time of year.)
  • Exterior doors-Entrances to the unit must be equipped with safety lock and screen door.
  • Double-keyed deadbolts are not allowed at any location, also known as double cylinder locks.
  • Windows - Window pane(s) cannot be missing, broken, or cracked (cutting hazard). All windows must have working locks or a permanently attached locking device. No broken window closures. All windows must be in good working condition and able to remain open. All window sashes must be in good condition. Windows must be weather stripped as needed to ensure a watertight seal. All windows except fixed windows must be screened. Screens must be undamaged. All security/burglar bars must have a quick release mechanism. (Cannot use key, tool or special knowledge to open )
  • Smoke detectors are required in all bedrooms and adjacent hallways. A smoke detector is required on each floor. See manufacturer's specifications for proper installation.
  • Heating System, will be inspected and ensure it is functioning properly regardless of the time of year. System must be able to provide adequate heat either directly or indirectly to each room. Must not contain unvented room heaters that burn gas, oil or kerosene. Electric heaters are acceptable. Must be up to code.
  • Must have a cooler or air conditioner. Must function properly.
  • Paint - No chipping or peeling paint inside or outside the unit. This also applies to exterior of secondary buildings, playgrounds, railings, and common areas of the property.
  • Bedrooms - minimum of 81 square feet to quality as a bedroom. Must have a door for privacy and a closet for clothes and storage of personal belongings. Must have an exterior window that can be opened and that contains a screen.
  • Refrigerator must be clean and in working order. No missing or broken shelves or vegetable trays, no missing kick plates or torn door seals. Must be appropriate size for unit.
  • Range and oven must be clean and in working order. All burners must work. Doors must close properly, gasket in place and all control knobs intact. Range vent must be clean.
  • GFCI outlets in kitchen within 6 feet of sink. All outlets in bathroom must be GFCI. All outlets in wet locations, such as laundry or exterior must be GFCI. (city code)
  • All sinks and commode water lines must have shut off valves unless faucets are wall mounted. Sinks must have functioning stoppers. No worn or cracked toilet seats and tank lids.
  • Caulking - around basin, tub, toilet and kitchen sink areas where appropriate.
  • Bathroom must have a window for ventilation or an exhaust fan. Fan must have a cover.
  • Curtain or drapery rods - sturdy and properly installed at each window.
  • All common areas will be inspected for safety hazards. (Laundry room/pool area, etc...)
  • Clothesline - if unit has a washer hook-up, a permanent clothesline must be installed.
  • No insect infestations are allowed.
  • Mailbox - each unit must have it's own mailbox.
  • Address - must be clearly displayed at the unit.
  • The roof must not leak. Indications of a leak are discolorations or stains on the ceiling.
  • Hot water Heater - must have a temperature pressure relief valve with a ¾" downward discharge pipe installed down to within 6 inches of the floor for tenant safety.
  • Floor covering cannot be torn nor have holes/cracks that can cause a tripping/cutting hazard. No broken tiles. Wood floors must be sanded and sealed. Carpeting must be clean and in good repair.
  • Stairs and railings must be secure. Handrails are required with four or more consecutive steps. A railing is required on unprotected heights (30 inches or higher than above grade) such as around stairwells, balcony, walkways, etc.
  • Exterior Trip Hazards - no gaps/cracks greater than ¾ inch on sidewalk, walkways, driveways, common areas, etc.
  • If a house has a yard, it should be clean.
  • Ensure electric, plumbing, and gas services are operating in a safe manner and present no danger to occupants. For example, no electric hazards, plumbing leaks, P-traps at sinks, gas leaks, etc.