Housing and Community Development

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Operating Hours: 8AM-4:30PM M-F

703-246-5000
TTY 711

3700 Pender Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Tom Fleetwood,
HCD Director

HQS Inspections – Frequently Asked Questions

At least 30 days prior, you will receive a notification via email or U.S. mail notifying you of when your inspection will occur.  HQS inspections can either be in-person or by Remote Virtual Inspection (RVI).  

We understand emergencies occur and you may not be able to attend your inspection.  If you are unable to attend your inspection, please notify us as soon as possible (call us at 703-246-5291 or email us at DHCDHousingInspections@fairfaxcounty.gov).  If our inspector goes to your unit and you are not there, this is considered an inconclusive inspection and may result in a failed determination per HQS guidelines.  You will receive a final notice to re-schedule the inspection, or you may become ineligible for program participation.  
 

Written notification is provided of the results of the inspection and the unit will be scheduled for its next regularly scheduled inspection – either annually, biennially, or triennially depending on program requirements. 

If the unit fails for routine items, they must be repaired within 30 calendar days and a re-inspection will be scheduled. If the unit fails for a life-threatening emergency, the landlord is notified immediately, and the item must be fixed within 24 hours. A re-inspection will be scheduled to confirm the repair has been made. 

  • All the items are fixed, what happens next? 
    Written notification is provided of the results of the inspection and the unit will be scheduled for its next regularly scheduled inspection – either annually, biennially, or triennially depending on program requirements. 
     
  • What happens if it fails for a second time? 
    If the unit fails for a second time, the account will be placed on an administrative hold on the first of the month following the second fail.  For example, if the unit fails its re-inspection on July 22, 2020, a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) hold will be placed on August 1, 2020.  Once the unit is placed on hold, it is now in the abatement process. The unit is only allowed to be in the abatement process up to 90 days after the first of the month following the second failed inspection.  Per the example above, the abatement period is from August 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020.
     

Click here to view the most common HQS failed items.

Typically, the landlord is responsible for all HQS failed items. Tenants and landlords are encouraged to review their most current lease agreement to determine repair responsibilities.  
 

Depending on the program and results of previous inspections, units may be inspected on an annual, biennial, or in some cases, triennial basis. 

Your housing services specialist caseworker.

Yes, it is a requirement of HQS.  All properties built before 1978 will be inspected for lead-based paint.

Any individual can be present (either for in-person or RVI) for the HQS inspection with the inspector. The chosen individual must be 18 years of age and older for the inspection to occur. 
 

Yes.  If the items are not repaired before the unit is placed on hold after the second failed inspection, the tenant can be issued a voucher to move. 

Yes. This is called a “Special” inspection. A Special inspection can be requested by the landlord, Tenant, Third Party or other agencies such the Health Department. To schedule a “special” inspection, contact the Inspections Team by phone: 703-246-5291, or by email at DHCDHousingInspections@fairfaxcounty.gov
 

No. Cosmetics are not a requirement of HQS. All items must work as designed. 

Yes. All appliances brought into the unit must meet HQS standards and work as designed.

Per HQS requirements, an infestation of a unit is the responsibility of the landlord. The tenant and landlord are encouraged to review their most current lease agreement. 

Only if such requirement is determined in the lease agreement. 

Fairfax Virtual Assistant