Minimum HQS (Housing Quality Standards)
From time to time, your team at PMI Georgia finds it necessary to revise a policy and/or procedure in order to keep the best interest of our owners and the health/safety of our residents the core of our company culture. As a result, Solutions Realty Network has determined the need to bring all our managed properties to the minimum quality criteria necessary for compliance with Federal Housing Quality Standards. Housing Quality Standards (HQS) address a variety of housing safety and quality issues including: lead-based paint regulations, pest control, trash disposal, appliances, and the proper installation of smoke detectors.
The following is a list of common HQS although not all-inclusive:
- Ceilings and walls are in good condition with no large cracks, holes, peeling paint or loose plaster.
- All rooms have either two working electrical boxes or one working outlet and one overhead light or light fixture.
- Presence of locks on ground floor windows.
- Handrails are present for stairwells composed of four or more steps.
- All windows have screens in good repair. (depending on County requirements)
- Windows open properly and can remain open, no cracked or broken windows.
- Absence of plumbing problems such as leaking faucets or running toilets.
- No exposed wiring, broken switches, cracked plates or ungrounded/failed plugs.
- Outside fencing in good repair.
- Gutter and downspouts secured, replace rusted or missing gutters & downspouts.
This policy improvement will not impact most of our managed properties, since they already meet the established standard. For those properties that don’t currently meet the HQS, we will bring the property in compliance when your current tenant elects to leave the property. While this may increase the out-of-pocket for your next rehab., we truly believe that it will reduce the vacancy period, provide you with a better tenant and allow us to maintain higher rents for these properties.
A couple of the reasons that have led to this decision are:
- The state and other agencies have increased their compliance review for landlord/tenant violations. These reviews can become costly due to the ability of the inspector to create an extensive list of work required, provide a very tight time-line for completion and their ability to levy fines on owners that can reach $1,000 per day, per violation.
- Solutions Realty has developed a reputation in the Atlanta market for offering quality homes which attract tenants to our properties. Having a consistent minimum standard will further cement that reputation resulting in even more quality tenants for your properties and reducing our already low vacancy rate.
As always, we are managing the risk associated with being a landlord and believe that this decision will improve the cash flow earned by your properties.
If you have any questions related to this policy change, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Donna & Chris Littleton