Inspection – Housing Quality Standards

FOR BOTH DELAWARE MHA AND MARION MHA

1.0     Living Room

Ceiling – A ceiling that is in good condition.

  • Not acceptable are large cracks or holes that allow drafts, severe bulging, and large amounts of loose or falling surface material such as plaster.

Walls –  Walls that are in good condition.

  • Not acceptable are large cracks or holes that allow drafts, severe bulging or leaning, large amounts of loose or falling surface material such as plaster.

Electricity – At least two electric outlets, or one outlet and one permanent overhead light fixture.  Do not count table or floor lamps, ceiling lamps plugged into a socket, and extension cords: they are not permanent.

  • Not acceptable are broken or frayed wiring, light fixtures hanging from wires with no other firm support (such as a chain), missing cover plates on switches or outlets, badly cracked outlets.
  • Outlets shall be tested for proper grounding, if installing GFCI’s make sure they operate correctly.

Floor – A floor that is in good condition.

  • Not acceptable are large cracks or holes, missing or warped floorboards or covering that could cause someone to trip.

Windows – At least one window.  Every window must be in good condition.

  • Not acceptable are windows with badly cracked, broken or missing panes, and windows that do not shut or, when shut, do not keep out the weather.

Lock – A lock that works on all windows and doors that can be reached from outside, a common public hallway, a fire escape, porch or other outside place that cannot be reached from the ground.  A window that cannot be opened is acceptable.

Paint – No peeling, flaking, cracking, chalking or chipping paint if you have children under the age of six and the house or apartment was built before 1978.

2.0    Kitchen

Ceiling – A ceiling that is in good condition.

  • Not acceptable are large cracks or holes that allow drafts, severe bulging, and large amounts of loose or falling surface material such as plaster.

Storage – Some space to store food.

Electricity – At least one electrical outlet and one permanent light fixture.  Do not count table or floor labels, ceiling lamps plugged into a socket and extension cords.  They are not permanent.

  • Not acceptable are broken or frayed wiring, light fixtures hanging from wires with no other firm support (such as a chain), missing cover plates on switches or outlets, badly cracked outlets.
  • Outlets within 6 feet of the kitchen sink that service the counter must be GFCI protected.  Non GFCI receptacles on the same circuit with an existing GFCI receptacle must have printed labels on the cover indicating they are “GFCI Protected”.

Stove and Oven – A stove (or range) and oven that works (This can be supplied by the tenant)

Floor – A floor that is in good condition. Not acceptable are large cracks or holes, missing or warped floorboards or covering that could cause someone to trip.

Preparation Area – Some space to prepare food

Paint – No peeling, flaking, cracking, chalking or chipping paint if you have children under the age of six and the house or apartment was built before 1978.

Window – If there is a window, it must be in good condition

Lock – A lock that works on all windows and doors that can be reached from outside, a common public hallway, a fire escape, porch or other outside place that cannot be reached from the ground.  A window that cannot be opened is acceptable.

Walls – Walls that are in good condition

  • Not acceptable are large cracks or holes that allow drafts, severe bulging or leaning, large amounts of loose or falling surface material such as plaster.

Serving Area – Some space to serve food A separate dining room or dining area in the living room is alright.

Refrigerator – A refrigerator that keeps temperatures low enough so that food does not spoil. (This can be supplied by the tenant)

Sink – A sink with hot and cold running water

  • A bathroom sink will not satisfy this requirement.

3.0    Bathroom

Ceiling – A ceiling that is in good condition.

  • Not acceptable are large cracks or holes that allow drafts, severe bulging, and large amounts of loose or falling surface material such as plaster.

Window – A window that opens or a working exhaust fan.

Lock – A lock that works on all windows and doors that can be reached from outside, a common public hallway, a fire escape, porch or other outside place that cannot be reached from the ground.  A window that cannot be opened is acceptable.

Toilet – A flush toilet that works.

Tub or shower – A tub or shower with hot and cold running water.

Floor – A floor that is in good condition.

  • Not acceptable are large cracks or holes, missing or warped floorboards or covering that could cause someone to trip.

Paint – No peeling. flaking, cracking, chalking or chipping paint if you have children under the age of six and the house or apartment was built before 1978.

Walls – Walls that are in good condition.

  • Not acceptable are large cracks or holes that allow drafts, severe bulging or leaning, large amounts of loose or falling surface material such as plaster.

Electricity – At least one permanent overhead or wall light fixture.

  • Not acceptable are broken or frayed wiring, light fixtures hanging from wires with no other firm support (such as a chain), missing cover plates on switches or outlets, badly cracked outlets.
  • Outlets within 6 feet of the bathroom sink and bathtub must be GFCI protected.  Non GFCI receptacles on the same circuit with an existing GFCI receptacle must have printed labels on the cover indicating they are “GFCI Protected”.
  • Outlets shall be tested for proper grounding, if installing GFCI’s make sure they operate correctly.

Sink – A sink with hot and cold running water.

  • A kitchen sink will not satisfy this requirement

4.0    Other Rooms Used for Living

These include bedrooms, dens, halls, and finished basements or enclosed, heated porches.  The requirements for other rooms that are lived in are similar to the requirements for the living room as explained below.

Other Rooms Used for Living Must Have:

Ceiling – A ceiling that is in good condition.

  • Not acceptable are large cracks or holes that allow drafts, severe bulging or leaning, large amounts of loose or falling surface material such as plaster.

Walls – Walls that are in good condition.

  • Not acceptable are large cracks or holes that allow drafts, severe bulging or leaning, large amounts of loose or falling surface material such as plaster.

Paint – No peeling, flaking, cracking, chalking or chipping paint if you have children under the age of six and the house or apartment was built before 1978.

Electricity in Bedrooms – At least two electric outlets, or one outlet and one permanently installed light fixture.  Do not count table or floor lamps, ceiling lamps plugged into a socket, and extension cords: they are not permanent.

  • Not acceptable are broken or frayed wiring, light fixtures hanging from wires with no other firm support (such as a chain), missing cover plates on switches or outlets, badly cracked outlets.
  • Outlets shall be tested for proper grounding, if installing GFCI’s make sure they operate correctly.

Floor – A floor that is in good condition. Not acceptable are large cracks or holes, missing or warped floorboards or covering that could cause someone to trip.

Lock – A lock that works on all windows and doors that can be reached from outside, a common public hallway, a fire escape, porch or other outside place that cannot be reached from the ground.  A window that cannot be opened is acceptable.

Windows – At least one window.  Every window must be in good condition. Not acceptable are windows with badly cracked, broken or missing panes, and windows that do not shut or, when shut, do not keep out the weather.

Other rooms that are not lived in may be a utility room for washer and dryer, basement or porch.  These must be checked for security and electrical hazards and other possible dangers (such as walls or ceilings in danger of falling), since these items are important for the safety of the entire apartment.  You should also look for other possible dangers such as large holes in the walls, floors, or ceilings, and unsafe stairways.  Make sure to look for these things in all other rooms not lived in.

Basement

Paint – No peeling, flaking, cracking, chalking or chipping paint if you have children under the age of six and the house or apartment was built before 1978.

  • This includes exterior walls, stairs, decks, fences, porches, railings, windows, outbuildings and doors.

Cooling – Some windows that open, or some working ventilation or cooling equipment that can provide air circulation during warm months.

Plumbing – Pipes that are in good condition, with no leaks and no serious rust that causes the water to be discolored.

Water Heater – A water heater located, equipped and installed in a safe manner along with a discharge line that extends to within six inches of the floor.

Heat – Enough heating equipment so that the unit can be made comfortably warm during cold months.

  • Not acceptable are space heaters (or room heaters) that can burn oil or gas and are not vented to a chimney.  Space heaters that are vented may be acceptable if they can provide enough heat.

Smoke Detectors – At least one working smoke detector on each level of the unit, including the basement and finished attics.  Smoke detectors must be located inside or outside of each bedroom.  If bedrooms are not close together, more than one smoke detector may be required per floor.  If detectors are located on the ceiling, the edge must be at least 4 inches from the wall.  If located on the wall, the top edge of the detector must be between 4 and 12 inches from the floor.  Detectors also must be at least 3 feet from kitchen and bathroom doors.  If any member of your family is hearing impaired, the smoke detector must have an alarm designed for hearing impaired persons.

Stairs and Hallways – Interior stairs with railings and common hallways that are safe and in good condition.   If stairs are open on both sides, 2 handrails are required.

Pollution – No serious air pollution, such as exhaust fumes or sewer gas.

Rodents and Vermin – No sign of rats or large numbers of mice or vermin (like roaches).

Foundation – A foundation in good condition that has no serious leaks.

Water Supply – A plumbing system that is connected to an approvable public or private water supply system.

Sewage – A plumbing system that is connected to an approvable public or private water supply system.

Chimneys – No serious leaning or defects (such as big cracks or missing bricks) in any chimneys.

Electricity – Outlets within 6 feet of a water source such as a washer, sump pump, etc. must either be a GFCI receptacle, a GFCI protected receptacle or a single receptacle instead of a duplex.

Health and Safety

Smoke Detectors – At least one working smoke detector on each level of the unit, including the basement and finished attics.  Smoke detectors must be located inside or outside of each bedroom.  If bedrooms are not close together, more than one smoke detector may be required per floor.  If detectors are located on the ceiling, the edge must be at least 4 inches from the wall.  If located on the wall, the top edge of the detector must be between 4 and 12 inches from the floor.  Detectors also must be at least 3 feet from kitchen and bathroom doors.  If any member of your family is hearing impaired, the smoke detector must have an alarm designed for hearing impaired persons.

Fire Exits – The building must provide an alternate means of exit in case of fire (such as stairs or exit through windows, with the use of a ladder if windows are above the second floor).

Elevators – Make sure the elevators are safe and work properly.

Entrance – An entrance from the outside of from a public hall, so that it is not necessary to go through anyone else’s private apartment to get into the unit. Neighborhood – No dangerous places, spaces, or things in the neighborhood such as:

  • Nearby buildings that are falling down
  • Unprotected cliffs or quarries
  • Fire hazards
  • Evidence of flooding

Garbage – No large piles of trash and garbage inside or outside of the unit, or in common areas such as hallways.  There must be a space to store garbage (until pickup) it must be covered tightly so that rats and other animals cannot get into it.  Trash should be picked up regularly.

Lights – Lights that work in all common hallways and interior stairs.

Stairs and Hallways – Interior stairs with railings, and common hallways that are safe and in good condition.  If stairs are open on both sides, 2 handrails are required.

Plumbing – Pipes that are in good condition, with no leaks and no serious rust that causes the water to be discolored.

Pollution – No serious air pollution such as exhaust fumes or sewer gas.

Rodents or Vermin – No sign of rats or large numbers of mice or vermin (like roaches).

Manufactured Home: Tie Downs – Manufactured homes must be placed on site in a stable manner and be free from hazards such as sliding or wind damage.

Electricity – Breaker boxes cannot have open spaces.  Open spaces must have proper snap-in blank covers and all wires going into electrical boxes and junction boxes must be secured with wire clamps.  All junction boxes must have blank covers installed.

Building Exterior, Plumbing and Heating

The building must have:

Roof – A roof in good condition that does not leak, with gutters and downspouts, if present, in good condition and securely attached to the building.

  • Evidence of leaks can usually be seen from stains on the ceilings inside the building.

Outside handrails – Secure handrails on any extended length of stairs (four or more steps) and any porches, balconies, or decks that are 30 inches or more above the ground.  If steps are open on both sides, 2 handrails are required.

Walls – Exterior wall that are in good condition, with no large holes or cracks that would let a great amount of air inside.

Foundation – A foundation in good condition that has no serious leaks.

Water Supply – A plumbing system that is connected to an approvable public or private water supply system.

Sewage – A plumbing system that is connected to an approvable public or private water supply system.

Chimneys – No serious leaning or defects (such as big cracks or missing bricks) in any chimneys.

Paint – No peeling, flaking, cracking, chalking or chipping paint if you have children under the age of six and the house or apartment was built before 1978.

  • This includes exterior walls, stairs, decks, fences, porches, railings, windows, outbuildings and doors.

Cooling – Some windows that open or some working ventilation or cooling equipment that can provide air circulation during warm months.

Plumbing – Pipes that are in good condition, with no leaks and no serious rust that causes the water to be discolored.

Water Heater – A water heater located, equipped and installed in a safe manner along with a discharge line that extends to within six inches of the floor.

Heat – Enough heating equipment so that the unit can be made comfortably warm during cold months.

  • Not acceptable are space heaters (or room heaters) that can burn oil or gas and are not vented to a chimney.  Space heaters that are vented may be acceptable if they can provide enough heat.

Electricity – exterior receptacles must be GFCI protected and must be installed in weather tight electrical boxes with covers.