Complaints About REAC Inspectors
Knowing When to File A Complaint About A REAC Inspector
One of the most common questions we have been receiving over the last several years, revolves around “unprofessional REAC Inspector.” Something like, “We had this one inspector who was just awful, and he/she did….” The question is: when should this result in a formal complaint about the REAC Inspector?
Here are the most common questions about REAC Inspector Complaints:
This Inspector wrote up stuff that the last inspectors never did
In one form or another, this is the most common complaint we hear. This inspector got down on her/his hands and knees, checked vents, turned on stove-broilers, showers, checked every window, turned on every light fixture, etc.
The response to this typically results in a realization that the real issue is with the previous REAC inspectors who performed substandard inspections and set up a false sense of standards. While disappointing, a complaint about a thorough inspector is not appropriate.
The REAC Inspector made strange and unusual requests
Some REAC Inspectors may just rub people the wrong way. They can be peculiar or a little odd. However, there are no rules against being a little “unique.” Several clients have asked for advice on how to file an appeal based on behavior such as chewing gum loudly, expressing political opinions, and telling bad jokes. While possibly annoying, these behaviors have nothing to do with the result of your inspection.
The Inspector was rude, unprofessional, or threatening
These are the experiences that should be reported to HUD immediately. While rare, owners have experienced inspectors who are rude, unprofessional, aggressive, and unprofessional. Over the years, managers shared stories about inspectors who brought them to tears during the inspection.
One manager described the experience as terrifying. To use this inspector as an example, the inspector repeatedly told the manager and maintenance tech to “shut up” and told tenants to “just go sit down.” There were discussions with residents about whether or not “they deserved tax money.” Then the inspector was unaware of basic rules, recorded items incorrectly, and was rude, aggressive, and entirely unprofessional.
In this example, what should the management company/owner do?
Option 1: Stop the Inspection
If you feel threatened or unsafe during the inspection. You can tell the inspector that you need to take a break, and then call the REAC Technical Assistance Center and report the behavior.
Option 2: File a Complaint
There are defined procedures in place to ensure that your complaint will be heard and responded to, and more importantly – that you will be protected from any reprisals or retribution from the inspector for filing the complaint. The complaint should be submitted directly to the REAC Inspector Administrator office. You should provide specific detail about the behavior exhibited during the inspection and how you felt intimidated or threatened. If residents felt threatened, they can provide a statement that management can submit on their behalf.
Understanding the Differences Between Complaints and Appeals
First, remember that the appeal process is not the venue to resolve this. When you file a REAC appeal, the documentation clarifies factual determinations about deficiencies only. To put it another way, the fact that the inspector was unprofessional doesn’t explain why a door is missing.