Things You Need to Know Before Your REAC Inspection

Providing decent, safe, and sanitary housing for low income residents is one of the primary goals of public housing operators. If you work for a public housing authority or own a property that is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to undergo physical property inspections with the Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC), you understand that it is important to keep your property safe, maintain and increase federal funds for your property, and reduce the frequency of future REAC inspections.iStock_000043471538_Large

According to HUD, nearly 4 million American families live in rental housing that is owned, insured, or subsidized by HUD. To ensure these families have housing that is decent, safe, sanitary, and in good repair, REAC conducts approximately 20,000 physical inspections on properties each year.

How to Prepare for an Inspection
Before your inspection day, REAC recommends your property complete an assessment and make repairs where needed to pass.

REAC makes it easy to perform a self-inspection. The agency provides a formatted PDF inspection checklist you can print or software you can use to perform an electronic inspection.

The assessment will include the following:

  • The site 
  • All building exteriors 
  • All building systems 
  • All common areas 
  • All units 

 

To improve your performance, REAC offers the following tips:

  •   If an inspectable item exists on your property, it must function as designed by the manufacturer. 
  •   Physically test the function of all windows, doors, fixed lighting, stoves, etc. 

 

Check out the top 20 deficiencies REAC identifies.

Scheduling the Inspection

When the inspector contacts you to schedule the inspection, it must be a mutually agreeable time and date. The inspection should take place during normal business hours.

When Inspection Day Arrives

The property staff is required to provide the inspector with access to all inspectable areas within the sample units and sample building common areas.

REAC requires several pieces of information be available for the inspector:

To improve your performance, REAC offers the following tips:

  •  Certificates (if applicable) for boilers, fire alarms, building sprinkler systems, elevators, and lead-based paint reports and resident disclosures if the property has a building built prior to 1978. 
  •  Area measures for parking lots, driveways, roads (square footage), and walkways and/or steps (square footage). 
  •  Rent roll that is current for the day of inspection and contains all occupied units, vacant units, and non-revenue units. If the purpose of any of these dwelling units changes to a non-dwelling use, you will need to inform the inspector and it must be removed form the unit count. 
  •  Site map (if available) that enables the inspector to navigate the property in an efficient manner. 
  •  

During the inspection, the inspector will verbally announce all observed deficiencies and their level of severity and record each item on the spot.

The scale is as follows:

Level 1 (L1)—minor
Level 2 (L2)—major
Level 3 (L3)—severe
H&S—Health and safety

During the inspection, you are allowed to do the following:

  •  Carry a notepad and camera with you to document the various findings when appropriate.  
    •   Install a light bulb in a unit or common area to demonstrate the fixture functions properly and show it is not defective.  
      •   Light a pilot and test burners if the pilot light is out. If they both function, a Level 1 deficiency is recorded in lieu of a Level 3.  
        •   Plug in an exhaust fan in a bathroom to show it functions properly and is not defective.  
          •   Ask questions or ask for clarification.  
          •   

          Understanding REAC Scoring

          REAC scores are based on a scale of 0-100 that reflects the physical condition of a property, inspectable area, or sub-area.

          A passing score is 60 or above, and your most recent score will determine when your next inspection will occur.

          Score Frequency of Inspection
          90-100 Every 3 years
          80-89 Every 2 years
          79 and below Every year

          After each numerical score, an a, b, c, or * may appear.

          A—No health and safety deficiencies noted
          B—Non-life threatening health and safety deficiencies noted
          C—At least one life threatening health and safety deficiency noted
          *—At least one inoperable smoke detector noted

          If your property scores below 60, it will be subject to referral to HUD’s Department of Enforcement Center. A Notice of Default of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract may be issued. Your property will be given 60 days to make all repairs, and a re-inspection will be scheduled.

          If the property scores 60 or above, the previous failed inspection will be closed. If the property scores 59 or below on the re-inspection, the HUD Program Center will submit a Compliance Disposition Enforcement Plan to HUD Headquarters containing the program center’s recommendations to address the failure of the property to meet HUD property standards requirements, which may include but are not limited to debarment, civil penalties, and abatement of subsidy or HAP contract termination.

          Remember, the best way to ensure your property receives a passing score is to perform a self-inspection. If you need assistance with a self-inspection, speak with your HD Supply sales representative.

          This information was prepared as general reference material only. This summary is not authoritative as laws and programs can be amended over time. For specific compliance requirements and updates, please refer to hud.gov and/or consult legal counsel.

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