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My new apartment's management has informed me that it's time for the 'annual HUD inspection', and that inspectors will be entering several apartments selected randomly by computer checking for safety violations.

Huh?

As far as I know, this isn't government-funded housing. The rent and amenities are comparable to other apartments in the area and most of my neighbors seem to be gone during normal working hours. I certainly receive no funds.

I'm new to the area. I've lived in southern California for the last seven years and in Austin, Texas for years before that. I've been under the impression that if the government wishes to come into my home, it can get itself a warrant.

There is a clause in the lease grants access to the landlord for good reasons and one of those reasons is a county inspection, but I don't understand what gives the county the right to inspect my apartment. It's fine.

Is this normal in MD?

-YB-
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It may be that the owner has multiple properties. If they do, they may have to offer one of the properties to HUD for Section 8 type housing. I believe if this is the case the other properties are monitored to make sure they are being kept up.

AC *that's just what I've heard about before*
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My new apartment's management has informed me that it's time for the 'annual HUD inspection', and that inspectors will be entering several apartments selected randomly by computer checking for safety violations.

Usually seeking clarification from the person who has confused you is the fastest route to understanding. "HUD inspection" may be jargon that they've developed over the years, and it may have nothing to do with Federal requirements. My first thought would be to seek more information from the management company.

You mentioned MD but not which county. AFAIK each county has some leeway in setting rules. I went through a lengthy series of e-mails last year trying to find out whether Montgomery County required annual sprinkler head inspections in individual units or just the common areas of multi-family buildings.

Phil
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I went through a lengthy series of e-mails last year trying to find out whether Montgomery County required annual sprinkler head inspections in individual units or just the common areas of multi-family buildings.

And did you get an answer?

~~ Alison, curious
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I went through a lengthy series of e-mails last year trying to find out whether Montgomery County required annual sprinkler head inspections in individual units or just the common areas of multi-family buildings.

And did you get an answer?


Finally. I'd been having a lovely e-mail exchange with a fire inspector that I thought ended with her answering a simple "no," but in response to my thanks became a litany of "IFPS" citations while she hedged her bets.

My response to that was effusive thanks and an offer to answer any tax questions she or her colleagues might have with a string of IRC cites, noting that I was so grateful I'd even tell 'em what "IRC" means. I cc'd the Chief, the County Council President, and my district's council rep. I told her I was doing the copies because if a resident trying to comply with the law needed a graduate degree in engineering to figure out the answer the law needed some sprucing up.

The next day I had an e-mail from the Chief saying "no."

Phil
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if a resident trying to comply with the law needed a graduate degree in engineering to figure out the answer the law needed some sprucing up.

There's nothing like plain English -- and that's NOTHING like plain English <g>.

~~ Alison
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> Usually seeking clarification from the person who has confused you is the fastest route to understanding.

That hasn't been my experience, though I always start with that person on principle. The manager directed me to the place in my lease where (her words) 'we can enter for a HUD inspection.' Points to Phil -- the lease actually allows the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, not HUD, to enter for an inspection.

I called the Montgomery County DHCA (motto: We are not HUD) and someone called me back. From Cynthia I learned that the inspection is mandatory for the owner, not for the tenants. She also told me that the inspectors knock on doors at random. If the tenant is out, they knock on another door. If the tenant is in, the inspector asks if he may enter the apartment and the tenant can refuse. You only have to let them in if they're investigating a reported problem.

The DHCA's goal in this case is to protect renters.

As for why management sends out such poorly-worded memos: clearly they need this thing to go smoothly. I also learned that the 'annual inspection' is conducted once every three years in Silver Spring -- unless you had violations last year.

-YB-
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