Unit Inspection (HQS) Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does HQS stand for?
      HQS means housing quality standards which are set by the federal government entity HUD.
  • Who is McCright and Associates?
      McCright and Associates is a separate company from CHA. McCright and Associates is the company that CHA contracts to perform all inspections.
  • What are the inspections for and when will they happen?
      Inspections are required by HUD to ensure minimum housing quality standards are met. Although, HUD states that hopefully each apartment will surpass the HQS standards. The inspections could happen at four different times, the initial inspection, a special inspection, a biennial inspection, and a quality control inspection.
    • 1. Initial inspection is the required first inspection in order to lease a HCV/PBA tenant.                                                                                            2.  Special Inspection is an inspection that would occur at the request of the Landlord (LL) or tenant. For example if the LL believes that the tenant has caused damage beyond the normal wear and tear or the tenant utilities are shut off for non-payment then the LL can request an interim inspection.                                                                                                                                                                                                                3.  Biennial Inspections happen every other year as is required by HUD.                                                                                                                      4.  Quality Control (QC) inspections occur to verify the inspection company is accurately inspecting apartments.
  • How does the Landlord (LL) know when an inspection is going to happen?
      This depends on what type of inspection is about to occur. For Initial inspection McCright and Associates will call and give the LL a day for the inspection. Then the day before McCright and Associates will call to confirm a specific time for the inspection. If the LL wishes to be present they should call McCright and Associates and ensure they are aware. For biennial inspections and quality control inspections McCright and Associates mails a notice about 30 days in advance to the LL and tenant with a window of time for the inspection.
  • What does the LL need to do for an initial inspection?
      The LL needs to help the tenant fill out the RFTA (request for tenancy approval) and then prepare the apartment. Ensure the utilities are on for the inspection. Once prepared for the inspection, ensure access to the apartment for the inspector. Once the apartment has passed inspection the LL and tenant can sign a lease and submit to CHA.
  • What are common things that the inspector is looking for?
      To see further guidance on preparing for the inspection/what the inspector looks for, click HERE.
  • What does the LL/ tenant do if the apartment fails the inspection?
      Both parties would be notified in writing of the failed inspection and why the apartment failed. The LL or tenant would make the repairs listed by the inspector based on who is the responsible party. Once the repairs are complete the responsible party would call McCright and Associates to come back for a second inspection. McCright and Associates’s contact information can be found on the failed inspection notice.
  • Why did McCright and Associates only give me 24 hours to fix this issue?
      The LL will only receive a 24 hour time frame to fix things that are considered critical if the issue creates an immediate life threatening circumstance. For example, the fire alarm not working or there being no heat in winter.
  • What happens if the issues cited are not fixed in the allotted time frame?
      An extension request can be submitted to CHA if there is good cause for the delay in fixing the cited issues in the apartment. For example, if it is a historical building and a window needs to be replaced but the historical department has delayed the approval process then the LL could submit a written request (which is sent with the failed notice of inspection) to extend the timeframe the repairs need to be completed by. This notice must be received by CHA at least ten days in advance of the date the repairs are due. If repairs are not made then the housing assistance portion (HAP) rent can be withheld or the tenant can be terminated pending who is responsible for the repairs.
  • How to know what type of building the apartment is in?
  •        Click here to see the different classifications of housing. 

  • What to do if the tenant has moved and you have received a notice of inspection?
      Tenant based vouchers, upon notice the LL should contact CHA’s leasing officer assigned to the tenant. If the LL is unsure of who the leasing officer is they can call the main number at 617-864-3020 and ask. Project based units should have the unit inspected even if it’s a vacant unit.
  • Does someone need to be home for the inspection?
  •           Yes, either the LL or 18+ year old tenant must be present for the inspector.