A nugget for our professional apartment management colleagues on the affordable side today. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a press release stating it was significantly reducing the advance notice the government gives to public housing authorities (PHAs) and private owners of HUD-subsidized apartment communities before their housing is inspected to ensure it remains safe, decent, and healthy.

HUD’s announcement (effective 30 days after publication) gives affordable property owners 14 calendar days’ notice before an inspection, a reduction from the current notice which can frequently extend up to four months. The way it currently works is that HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) gives management advance notice before a scheduled inspection. That notice can go for as long as 120 days.

HUD’s view is if a property owner knows an inspection is coming in, for example, three months, a less than scrupulous owner could perform cosmetic maintenance and repairs rather than adopting appropriate year-round maintenance practices. REAC inspectors review properties run by approximately 3,700 local public housing authorities across the country as well as about 23,000 privately owned apartment buildings. HUD data confirms that 96 percent of these properties pass their REAC inspections.

As such, starting in the third week in March 2019, HUD employees and REAC contract inspectors will only give affordable property owners 14 calendar days of notice prior to their inspection. If an owner declines, cancels or refuses entry for an inspection, a presumptive score of zero will be recorded. If a second attempt results in a successful inspection within seven calendar days, the score from the second inspection will be recorded.

Again, this is for property ownership/management on the affordable side. The takeaway, of course, is that HUD wants you to perform regular maintenance on your property and do repairs year round. And not just because a REAC inspector is on the way. Let’s see if the 96% pass rate changes in a year or so.

Just A Thought.