I am currently in the process of getting my out of state property Section 8 approved. I have Section 8 tenants who qualify and are ready to move in, the only thing waiting is a successful inspection. The property failed its first inspection because of a multitude of preventable issues. The issues have allegedly been fixed by the property manager's handyman, so the second inspection is all that is left. Assuming that inspection passes, it is looking like at least a half of month's rent will be lost from this failure/delay.
My question for the forum is, given that I live out of state, is it the property management company's responsibility to ensure that the property is in a condition that will pass the Section 8 inspection or is it mine?
I would say the property managers since they are local. They know who they rented too. They knew they would need to pass the inspection. I believe it would be on them to be responsible for the units condition at the time of the inspection.
Section 8 is a wonderful program and not only gives clean safe housing to those who are lower income, but helps property owners fill vacancies with paying residents who maintain their housing so they don't lose their Section 8.
Whether your property houses Section 8 tenants or not, you should have them inspected periodically to make sure the are habitable and meet current safety standards. If you do this, it is pretty hard to fail a Section 8 inspection. You can get a check list from the Housing Authority that shows what the Section 8 inspectors are examining. Then do your own inspection and tend to any deficiencies in advance. If you do this, you won't lose any time and the process will go much more smoothly.
To answer your question, it is the responsibility of both of you... you should be working as a team. You, the owner, set the expectations and they, the property manager, will do the leg work.
I have ONE house in our local section 8 program, and we fail every year on the first try, and then we pass on the second try. I always do a walk-through and make a list of repairs before the first inspection. We fail anyway...the most recent reason being that the fridge seal was partially deteriorated. Last year it's because there was an opening in the floor near the water heater. That has always been there, yet it was never mentioned on a previous inspection. So, I'm pretty sure that they will continue to fail us on the first try no matter what.
Being that your the owner, it is your responsibility overall. However, with the property manager being your on-the-ground person, they need to ensure your investment is up to par for inspections.