Information - Before the Inspection



Important information for section 8 H C V inspections

For Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing

All Housing Authority of the County of San Diego (HACSD) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher housing and public housing units must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection before the rental assistance payments can begin.

If the unit does not pass inspection, Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to the landlord cannot start or will be stopped, depending upon where you are in the process.

Contactless Inspections

In response to COVID-19, the Housing Authority of the County of San Diego (HACSD) implemented temporary changes to the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections by utilizing flexibilities and alternative requirements allowable in the Adopted Cares Act HQS waiver. The temporary policy to modify or delay HQS inspections is ending. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations require that the HACSD inspect all subsidized units.

In order to meet the requirement to conduct all physical inspections for units affected by the Cares Act, HACSD will begin to schedule inspections that were suspended or conducted using alternative requirements as early as 07/01/2020. The safety of tenants, landlords and HACSD staff and contractors is top priority. Inspections will be conducted using a contactless process that will include health screening, personal protective equipment, sanitizing and social distancing. Inspections may be rescheduled to accommodate conditions that place the tenant or the inspector at risk.

Tenants and landlords will be notified of their scheduled inspection by mail. In all cases, the inspection team will guide tenants and landlords through the inspection process. Please call       (858) 694-8735 for general HQS inspection questions or to reschedule an appointment.


Before the Inspection, Tenants and Landlords Should Confirm:

  • All major utilities (electricity, gas and water) must be turned on.
  • The cooking stove and oven must be clean and in working condition. All burner control knobs must be present and functional.
  • The heating unit must be properly installed and vented and otherwise in good working order. Check with SDG&E to ensure the safety of the heating system. Heater must be operational at time of inspection.
  • Hot and cold water must be available in the kitchen and bathroom(s).
  • A shower or bathtub must be in good working condition.
  • A flush toilet must be in working condition with no leaks.
  • All plumbing must be working without clogs or leaks. The garbage disposal, if present, must have a properly installed strain relief clamp.
  • The bathroom must have a window or working ventilation fan.
  • All accessible outside doors and windows must have working locks.
  • The unit must have at least one exit door without a double-keyed deadbolt lock.
  • A properly operating smoke detector must be present on each level of the unit.
  • All electrical outlets must have cover plates that are not cracked or broken. All three-prong outlets must be grounded or GFCI protected. 
  • There must be no missing, broken or badly cracked windows or window panes.
  • The roof must not leak.
  • The unit's hot water tank must have a pressure relief valve and downward discharge pipe. Please make arrangements for access to the hot water tank. 
  • If present, carpet and linoleum must not have holes, tears or loose seams.
  • There can be no rodent or insect infestations.
  • If a child under the age of six resides or is expected to reside in the unit, there can be no cracking, chipping, scaling or loose paint anywhere inside or outside the unit.
  • There can be no derelict vehicles or excessive debris such as boxes, paper, trash, wood, tires, machine or auto parts, batteries, paint cans or old appliances around the unit.
  • If present, security bars in all bedrooms must have a quick-release device.

Responsibilities of Tenant

  • Be available and allow HACSD’s inspection to be completed.
  • Cooperate with inspectors.
  • Keep unit in a safe and sanitary condition.
  • Keep belongings properly stored and have clear walkways within the unit.
  • Be responsible for any damage you or your guests create.
  • Advise the owner when repairs are needed.

Responsibilities of Owner

  • Be available and allow HACSD’s inspection to be completed.
  • Cooperate with inspectors.
  • Make needed repairs promptly.




For a printable checklist:  

County of San Diego Inspection Checklist

Questions about Inspections?

Phone: (858) 694-8735