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The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City’s Section 8 (also known as Housing Choice Voucher Program) provides rental assistance to low-income families in the private rental market. The amount of assistance is based upon Section 8 participants’ income. HASLC is not a party to the lease, but does pay a portion of the rent directly to the landlord on behalf of the participant.

Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection FAQ’s

Before the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City Housing Choice Voucher (also known as Section 8) Program enters into a housing assistance payments contract, and issues rental assistance payments for a voucher participant, the housing unit must pass an initial U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, called a Housing Quality Standards inspection. An annual inspection will must occur for continued rental assistance payments.
Who will inspect my unit?

The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City currently employs three inspectors, one of which will perform your inspections. All the inspectors are trained and certified to conduct HQS Inspections.

How long does it take to get an initial inspection?

When a correct and complete Request for Tenancy Approval packet (RFTA) is received by the Housing Authority the caseworker will schedule the inspection. The processing of the packet and scheduling should take place within 7 days.

Do all utilities have to be turned on during the initial inspection?

It is preferred water, gas and electricity services be turned on during the scheduled inspection. HQS inspection standards check for properly operating gas and electric appliances, hot/cold water, leaks, property functioning lights and outlets, and several other areas that can only be properly tested with these 3 utilities turned on. If utility service is not available for testing at the time of the initial inspection, the PHA will allow the utilities to be placed in service after the unit has met all other HQS requirements. The PHA will reinspect the unit to confirm that utilities are operational before the HAP contract is executed by the PHA. If there are multiple units which do not have their own separate gas and electric meter dedicated directly to that unit, the landlord will have to include utilities in the rent.

Can I finish repairs or install appliances after the tenant moves in?

No. The unit needs to be “move-in” ready for the initial inspection. If there are too many fail items or if the unit is not ready for the inspection, the inspector will stop the inspection and it will not be rescheduled until notification the unit is ready.

Do I have to be there for the inspection?

Not for the initial inspection. It is the shared responsibility of the tenant and the landlord to ensure that someone over the age of 18 is present for the annual renewal inspection. After receiving the inspection notice, the landlord should contact the tenant to arrange for someone to be present on the day of the inspection.

If my unit fails inspection, how long will I have to make the repairs?

The second inspection will be scheduled usually 2-3 weeks after the first inspection. The second inspection notice will be mailed to both tenant and landlord with the date of the follow-up inspection, and contain the complete list of failed items.

What happens my unit fails inspection more than once?

A unit that fails three inspections, for the same failed items, will enter “abatement” at the first of the next month. The number of same-fail items (or even if there are new-fail items found along with the same-failed items) does not change the fact that the unit will enter abatement on the first day of the following month.

What does it mean when a unit is in abatement?

A unit is abated for one month, starting on the 1 st day of the month following the final failed inspection. During abatement, the HASLC payment is withheld from the owner. The tenant is still required to pay their portion of the rent, though not responsible for the withheld portion; as long as there is a valid contract in place. According to HASLC’s contract with the owner/landlord, HASLC cannot pay for a unit while it is not in compliance. This means that payments will only resume once the HQS inspection passes and payments will not be made retroactively. Payments will resume on a pro-rated basis, beginning on the date of the passed inspection.

What is an emergency or 24-hour fail?
  • Broken glass where it can cause injury
  • Obstacle preventing tenant from entry or exit
  • Any other life-threatening issues cited by other agencies with the jurisdiction.

The inspector will attempt to contact the owner/agent while at the unit to inform them of the 24-hour fail items and the need to return the next day. If the 24-hour fail items are not corrected by the second inspection, the unit may be abated starting on the 1 st of the month after the second failed inspection.

Still have questions?
Quick Links:

Landlord Portal?

Voucher Payment Standards (Board Approved 10/29/2018 for calendar year 2019)

The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City establishes payment standards annually. The payment standard below is effective beginning January 1, 2019.

Bedroom Size Voucher Payment Standard
0 708
1 957
2 1130
3 1486
4 1732
5 1992
6 2291


The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City ensures that rents are reasonable by comparing similar market-rate units in the selected area. The Section 8 team utilizes information from the inspection to validate their decision; this includes location, quality, size, unit type, age, amenities, services, maintenance, and included utilities.