The home you choose to use your Section 8 voucher on will need to pass an annual inspection.
If you need help right away, some programs may direct deposit a short-term loan into your bank account.
Here are some dos and don’ts to ensure that the inspection goes smoothly, so you don’t lose your voucher.
If you get a Section 8 voucher, you’ll have certain rules to follow if you want to keep it. As with any rental agreement, you’ll need to abide by rules in your lease with the landlord.
You’ll also need to follow Section 8’s program rules. What else is needed to maintain your Housing Choice Voucher? A yearly inspection of the property you’re living on. If you pass it, you’re good to go.
But if you fail the inspection, your Public Housing Agency (PHA) could nullify your voucher, causing you to lose Section 8’s biggest benefit, which is affordable rent.
What can you do to ensure you pass your Section 8 home inspection with flying colors? Follow these dos and don’ts:
- Know that your entire house will be expected, so be prepared.
- Contact your landlord ahead of time to make any major repairs.
- Keep your smoke alarms in working order by replacing their batteries.
- Clean all of your sinks in the kitchen, bathrooms, etc., so they look presentable. Do the same with your tub, toilets, and anywhere else impacted by water.
- Keep your windows clean. You should be able to see out of them. If any windows are broken, get them fixed ASAP.W
- ash your walls to remove any dirt or grime.
- Clean your cooking range, range hood, and filter. Burnt countertops are a red flag for an inspector, especially if you have children.
- Throw away your garbage as often as possible, so you don’t attract pests like rats and cockroaches.
- Keep your floors clean. A quick vacuum/mop is a good idea right before inspection.
- Fix any broken light fixtures.
- Fix any broken doors or door jambs.
- Fix broken bathroom fixtures, such as shower doors, faucets, etc.
- Get any holes in the ceiling or roof patched.
- Try to hide any issues or damage that you failed to repair. As mentioned, the entire home will be inspected, and the inspector must have total access to complete their job.
- w your kids or any pets to run around during the inspection. Try to keep them separated or contained.
- Keep junked furniture, appliances, or automobiles on the property.
- Allow your landscaping to grow out of control. The lawn should be mowed and shrubs trimmed.
- Allow garbage to accumulate inside or outside of the home.
- Let your walls be destroyed by holes, excessive grease, mold, or graffiti.
- Let your floors be damaged to the point that there’s torn tile, wood floors that are badly stained, or carpets with major stains, burns, etc.
- Allow appliances to become inoperable due to abuse or neglect.
- Let your utilities get turned off for nonpayment. This would look particularly bad during an inspection.
- Allow the home to be infested with fleas due to pet neglect.
While those lists may seem long, the whole point is to keep the unit properly maintained, so you don’t have to make any last-minute fixes. In doing so, you’ll pass inspection, keep your Section 8 voucher, and allow your family to live in safe, decent, and sanitary housing.