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consideration and extensive analysis, the Commission has decided to
outsource our property inspections to one or more third party vendors.
Vendors will take over this process beginning in January 2016. We
have concluded that outsourcing inspections will be the most effective
way to balance staff workloads, allow staff to focus on highest impact
monitoring tasks, and reduce our liability when enforcing UPCS
regulations. WSHFC’s Board of Commissioners approved our plan and
budget earlier this year and we posted a Request for Proposal document
to solicit bids. We hope to announce a vendor in November so we
have time to work with them prior to the new calendar year. We
expect that the vendor’s inspection reports will be similar to those we
receive from HUD’s REAC inspections, although the reports will not
include scores, only the assigning of Levels to each deficiency (Level
1, 2 or 3).
What does this mean for how you’ll be notified about inspections, etc.?
We will continue to notify you via the Annual Report letter in December if your property is scheduled for an inspection in the following calendar year.
Instead of working with WSHFC Portfolio Analysts to schedule inspections, you’ll likely be hearing from and working directly with our vendor.
The vendor will use HUD’s UPCS standards to inspect your property, writing up deficiencies and taking photos as needed.
The vendor will send the finished inspection report and photos to WSHFC staff.
WSHFC staff will send you a letter stating a deadline for fixing deficiencies. We will include either our standard deficiency grid or we may simply send the actual vendor report (we’ll decide that once we see how the vendor’s reports are formatted).
We will continue to ask for standard verification of fixed deficiencies (copies of invoices, maintenance orders, etc.)
WSHFC expects that related resident packages will be sent to WSHFC within two weeks of the completed inspection.
After the inspection is done, WSHFC staff will interface directly with you to ensure that all deficiencies are resolved, and will issue 8823s if UPCS-related material noncompliance is found.
If disputes arise about reported deficiencies, either the vendor and/or WSHFC may do a re-inspection, depending on circumstances.
Apart from scheduling issues, all other inspection-related questions should continue to be directed to WSHFC staff.
What about properties with multiple funders?
WSHFC will continue to work with our funding partners to minimize multiple inspections each year for the same property. Where we can confirm that another funder is inspecting a property, we will not ask our vendor to inspect the same property in the same year. If you have received confirmation from another funder that an inspection is taking place at your property, and we contact you for a WSHFC inspection, please let us know about the other inspection immediately!
WSHFC will keep you posted as we move through this process and refine our inspection procedures in light of working with a third party vendor. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Melissa Donahue, Asset Management & Compliance Division Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAX CREDIT PROPERTIES
Section 42 states that HUD Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) Uniform Physical Conditions Standards will be used for inspections of Tax Credit properties. Properties must be inspected a minimum of once every three years.
Compliance Monitoring Regulations for Section 42 (PDF) from Federal Register
UPCS Requirement (PDF) from Federal Register
Commission notices of inspection for Tax Credit Properties includes Checklist and Explanation of Certification Requirements Rev 05/2007
At least 20% of the properties’ units will be randomly selected for inspection. The IRS stipulates that owners cannot be given advance notice of the units selected. Owners are required to submit copies of Resident Certification packages for all units inspected no later than 10 business days after the inspection per the instructions during the inspection. All packages are sent to the Commission's Seattle office.
Inspectors look for deficiencies in the following areas:
Area 1: Site:
Fencing and Gates, Grounds, Storm Drainage, Play Areas &
Equipment, Walkways and Steps, Refuse Disposal, Mailboxes, Market Appeal, Parking
Lots, Driveways and Roads, Retaining Walls
Area 2: Building Exterior:
Doors, FHEO Access, Fire Escapes, Foundations,
Lighting, Roofs, Walls, Windows
Area 3: Building Systems:
Domestic Water, Electrical, Elevators, Emergency
Power, Exhaust System, Fire Protection, HVAC, Sanitary System
Area 4: Common Areas:
Basement/Garage/Carport, Mechanical/Utility Closet,
Patio/Porch/Balcony, FHEO Hallways/Routes, Stairs/Corridors, Kitchen, Laundry
Room, Pools, Restrooms
Area 5: Health and Safety:
Air Quality, Electrical Hazard, Elevator,
Emergency Fire Exits, Flammable Materials, Garbage and Debris, Hazards,
Area 6: Units: Bathrooms, Call for Aid, Ceiling, Doors, Electrical System, Floors, Hot Water Heater, HVAC System, Kitchen, Laundry Area, Lighting, Outlets/Switches, Patio/Porch/Balcony, Smoke Detector, Stairs, Walls, Windows
If there are items that need immediate attention or remedy, the inspector will complete an "Items Needing Immediate Attention or Remedy" (PDF) form and leave a signed copy of this form at the property. After the inspection is completed, the inspector will provide a written summary of any findings to the owner and property manager. The owner is responsible for maintaining the property and correcting deficiencies, other deficiencies could exist that were not detected by the inspector.
Properties must be inspected a minimum of once every three years.
A minimum of 10% of the properties’ units will be randomly selected for inspections.
THESE ENTITIES HAVE AGREED TO WORK WITH US TO STREAMLINE INSPECTIONS AND REPORTING:
Call or email the Portfolio Analyst assigned to the property.
WEB RESOURCES FOR COMMON PROBLEMS
The following websites offer information about how to deal with some of the common deficiencies encountered during on-site inspections:
Bed Bugs and Beyond Article | Bed Bugs Addendum | New York City Department of Health - Preventing and Getting Rid of Bed Bugs Safely | HUD HQ Housing Notice on Bed Bugs - Housing Notice 2011-20, Guidelines on Bed Bug Control and Prevention, provides information and references to best practices regarding the prevention and control of bed bug infestations and guidance on the rights and responsibilities of HUD, Owners and Management Agents (O/As) and tenants.
Sample Capital Needs Assessment/Replacement Reserves Spreadsheet (Excel) from Seattle Office of Housing
Environmental Health and Safety Information by Subject from WADOH mosquitoes, ticks, & much more
Flammable and Combustible Liquid Storage WAC 296-155-270 local codes and rules may be more restrictive
Smoke Detectors Washington Code RCW 43.44.110 local codes may be more restrictive
Smoke Free Housing - www.smokefreewashington.com | smokefreehousingnw.org is an informational resource for landlords and owners interested in learning more about going smoke-free at their multi-unit property. The site provides important information about secondhand smoke and helpful tools to make a successful transition to a “no smoking” rule.
Unit Turns - Green Unit Turn website was developed in partnership with the Affordable Housing Management Association (AHMA) of Washington and the City of Seattle's Office of Housing. This information was gathered from experiences and recommendations of several affordable housing owners and managers who are engaging in cost effective green operations and maintenance practices.
OTHER INFORMATION RELATED TO SITE VISITS
Illegal Provisions in Rental Agreements - Office of the Attorney General Landlord/Tenant Law (PDF)
SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR RESIDENT
Residents should contact their Apartment Manager with any maintenance or repair requests. Most properties request that residents fill out a written work request.