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Issue 78: REAC Inspector Business Rules and Code of Conduct and Interim Recertification

HUD Updates REAC Inspector Business Rules and Code of Conduct

On February 5, 2016, a notice was issued that created new business rules for active REAC Inspectors. This new set of REAC Inspector business rules is an update to the existing inspector business rules dated January 20, 2006. This memorandum sets forth basic rules of behavior, a Code of Conduct, and instructions to REAC inspectors on how to handle situations that may arise. 

In this article, we are going to discuss the parts of the notice that affect Owners/Managers of HUD-insured/assisted housing. If you are interested in reviewing the sections regarding administrative actions on REAC Inspectors, you can review a copy of the HUD REAC Physical Inspection/Inspector Administration Business Rules - Inspector Performance Monitoring.

The major changes to the REAC Inspector Business Rules that will affect owners/managers relate to updates to the Code of Conduct. Here is the section of the notice that relates to what REAC Inspectors can and cannot do:

Inspectors must:

  • Display the REAC-issued photo identification card throughout the entire inspection;
  • Respect resident privacy. For example, inspectors must not attempt to open a closed door in a residence; they defer to the property representative;
  • Comply with reasonable requests from residents and project representatives during the inspection;
  • Defer all questions from residents regarding the property to the property representative accompanying the inspector; and
  • Defer all questions from third parties about the inspection or the results to the property owner or representative.

Inspectors must not:

  • Express opinions or comment about the nature or condition of the property or residents;
  • Make representations or promises to residents or property representatives or staff  that items will be repaired based on inspection results;
  • Attend an inspection, or participate in an inspection in any capacity, that is being conducted by another HUD certified UPCS inspector while providing independent consulting services of any kind on behalf of the property owner or representative;
  • Include in attendance or participation during a UPCS inspection any unauthorized person, including family, friends, or UPCS certified/decertified inspectors;
  • Use any facility on a property, property owner's office, housing agency office, or HUD field office to conduct personal business;
  • Use profanity or other offensive language prior to, during or after an inspection;
  • Engage in fraudulent activities, such as, but not limited to, falsifying an inspection;
  • Conduct an inspection under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Smoke anywhere on a property;
  • Threaten, verbally or in writing, residents, inspection participants, property representatives or any other individual with whom the inspector comes in contact;
  • Carry a firearm or weapon of any kind, or any other object that could be construed as a weapon, on a property;
  • Commit theft or intentional damage to property;
  • Cancel an inspection due to a QA review;
  • Threaten or engage in violence against any person while conducting an inspection; and
  • Engage in sexual misconduct or any other type of unwanted conduct.

There are a few items in the above that are notably new, namely that REAC inspectors cannot accompany other REAC Inspectors on inspections as representatives of management or as consultants. There are a number of REAC Consulting Firms who utilize active REAC Inspectors to conduct REAC Inspection Shadow Inspections to assist owners and managers on the day of the inspection, and this practice will no longer be permitted. If the consultants are not currently REAC licensed inspectors, then this rule shall not apply; for example, all of the inspectors on staff with US Housing Consultants are internally trained, so this rule does not apply to our inspectors.

If you should have any questions about this new notice or any of its contents, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Interim Recertifications for HUD Section 8 programs - Part 1

Determining when an Interim Recertification (IR) is warranted and what effective date to utilize is often challenging. This portion of our three-part series will provide guidance on reporting requirements and optional changes, processing IRs, refusing IRs and the all-important question of what effective date to utilize.

This information applies to HUD Project-Based Section 8 properties only, as IR never apply to the LIHTC program

What are tenants required to report?

All tenants must notify the owner when:

  • A family member moves out of the unit;
  • The family proposes to move a new member into the unit;
    NOTE: At a minimum, owners must apply screening criteria for drug abuse and other criminal activity, *including State sex offender registration, and use of the EIV Existing Tenant Search to persons proposed to be added to the household, including live-in aides. The owner must make sure that the person also discloses and provides verification of his or her SSN.
  • An adult member of the family who was reported as unemployed on the most recent certification or recertification obtains employment; or
  • The family’s income cumulatively increases by $200 or more per month.

What are optional reporting requirements?

Tenants may request an IR due to any changes occurring since the last recertification that may affect the total tenant payment or tenant rent and assistance payment for the tenant. Changes a tenant may report include the following:

  • Decreases in income including, but not limited to, loss of employment, reduction in number of hours worked by an employed family member, and loss or reduction of welfare income;
  • Increases in allowances including, but not limited to, increased medical expenses, and higher child care costs; and
  • Other changes affecting the calculation of a family’s annual or adjusted income including, but are not limited to, a family member turning 62 years old, becoming a full-time student, or becoming a person with a disability.

Tenants are not required to report when a family member turns 18 years of age between annual recertifications. However, tenants must follow the requirements in their lease for reporting changes in the household income. However, if a tenant turns 18 and has not signed the form HUD-9887, the owner must not use the EIV income reports until the form is signed. Owners must address in their policies and procedures notification requirements and timeframes for tenants who turn 18 between annual recertifications to sign the consent forms HUD-9887 and HUD-9887-A and/or lease. If the tenant fails to sign the consent form(s) the household is in non-compliance with their lease and assistance to, and the tenancy of, the household may be terminated.

Look for part two of the Interim Recertification series in the May issue of The Score. 

Contact Us

  • US Housing Consultants
  • 160 Dover Road# 6, Chichester, NH, 03258
  • Phone: (603) 223-0003
  • Fax: (603) 736-4777
  • Email: info@us-hc.com
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U.S. Housing Consultants, Real Estate Consultants, Epsom, NH