Why REAC Scores Change Dramatically
Why Did My REAC Score Go Down So Much?
Many property owners ask us a similar question – why did my REAC score go down so much? They say, “I did everything the same as last time, but this time, the score was awful.” Some start by blaming (a) the process, (b) the inspector, and (c) changes to the inspection code rules. We start by explaining that the reason their REAC score dropped is typically outside any of these concepts. After some discussion, we find out the root of the issue and develop an effective plan.
So what are the reasons REAC scores change so dramatically? Here are our Top-5 Reasons:
#5: Detached Executive Support
Some executives will send the responsibility for physical compliance down the line, remaining detached from the process. When it comes time to draft an appeal to reverse a failing score, the inevitable question is: “how did this happen, didn’t I give it to [so and so].” The most effective executives are the ones who take the time to have a cursory understanding of the physical inspection requirements, so they can delegate and follow up – and ask all the right questions along the way.
#4: Short-Term REAC Expertise
We frequently hear, “I have been through two inspections, so I’m all set.” Even if that number was several hundred inspections, it’s the wrong attitude. Like with everything in life – get a second opinion. Find a system that works, but don’t be afraid of challenging it from time to time. Maybe you are “expert” at the process, but as an attorney might say, “a lawyer who represents themselves has a fool for a client.”
#3: Planning for REAC Inspections Based on Personal Opinions
Some people have been known to take it upon themselves to decide that some aspects of the UPCS Inspection Code “don’t apply to them”, because “it shouldn’t” or “I disagree with it.” So, the next time you ask your property staff, “is the property all set?” Keep in mind, the response may be based more on opinion than reality.
#2: Incomplete Training on REAC and Good Maintenance Practices
Everyone involved in managing a HUD property needs some level of understanding regarding REAC Inspections. Make sure that you have everyone in the Company to receive some degree of REAC training. If an inspection were to go sideways, you receive a failing score, flagged your 2530, and get your investors hopping mad – who would get involved? Make a list. Those people all need to receive training on REAC. There are frequent changes, new expectations, and best practices to ensure success on REAC Inspections every time.
#1. Expecting Every REAC Inspection To Be The Same
Here’s a story (factual, obscured into fiction to maintain privacy) that is on-point. A property owner received a REAC Scores of 95a, 98a, and 90a over the first decade that REAC was in existence. Then they had an inspection in 2013 and received a REAC score of 35c. They immediately appealed and used as the basis of their appeal that the inspector was biased, conflicted, and unprofessional. HUD REAC denied their request for an appeal. Next, they had to get the property ready for a re-inspection. If the property passed the second inspection — the APPS flag would be removed.
Since they believed that they had done nothing wrong on the first inspection, they did very little to prepare for the re-inspection. The property staff corrected a few of the big issues noted in that first failed inspection, but little else. The owner and the team felt they prepared for the re-inspection.
The investors in the property were not as confident as the owner. They asked us to go in and do an assessment of their readiness. We did a Pre-REAC inspection, and the results were worse than the initial failed inspection.
The owners and managers, and everyone else initially objected to our findings, said that they don’t apply to their property because they had done well before. Finally, the site staff relented and said that they’d fix everything, but when they said “fix,” they meant only those items that “we believe applies to us.”
In conclusion, REAC Scores change dramatically for a wide range of reasons. Doing well on inspections is about establishing good everyday maintenance practices to remove the elements of surprise. Start getting ready for your next inspection today, even if it is years from now.
Contact us with any questions.