HUD housing must be decent, safe, sanitary and in good repair. Owners of housing described in § 5.701(a), mortgagors of housing described in § 5.701(b), and PHAs and other entities approved by HUD owning housing described in § 5.701(c), must maintain such housing in a manner that meets the physical condition standards set forth in this section in order to be considered decent, safe, sanitary and in good repair. These standards address the major areas of the HUD housing: the site; the building exterior; the building systems; the dwelling units; the common areas; and health and safety considerations.
(a) Site. The site components, such as fencing and retaining walls, grounds, lighting, mailboxes/project signs, parking lots/driveways, play areas and equipment, refuse disposal, roads, storm drainage and walkways must be free of health and safety hazards and be in good repair. The site must not be subject to material adverse conditions, such as abandoned vehicles, dangerous walks or steps, poor drainage, septic tank back-ups, sewer hazards, excess accumulations of trash, vermin or rodent infestation or fire hazards.
(b) Building exterior. Each building on the site must be structurally sound, secure, habitable, and in good repair. Each building's doors, fire escapes, foundations, lighting, roofs, walls, and windows, where applicable, must be free of health and safety hazards, operable, and in good repair.
(c) Building systems. Each building's domestic water, electrical system, elevators, emergency power, fire protection, HVAC, and sanitary system must be free of health and safety hazards, functionally adequate, operable, and in good repair.
(d) Dwelling units.
(1) Each dwelling unit within a building must be structurally sound, habitable, and in good repair. All areas and aspects of the dwelling unit (for example, the unit's bathroom, call-for-aid (if applicable), ceiling, doors, electrical systems, floors, hot water heater, HVAC (where individual units are provided), kitchen, lighting, outlets/switches, patio/porch/balcony, smoke detectors, stairs, walls, and windows) must be free of health and safety hazards, functionally adequate, operable, and in good repair.
(2) Where applicable, the dwelling unit must have hot and cold running water, including an adequate source of potable water (note for example that single room occupancy units need not contain water facilities).
(3) If the dwelling unit includes its own sanitary facility, it must be in proper operating condition, usable in privacy, and adequate for personal hygiene and the disposal of human waste.
(4) The dwelling unit must include at least one battery-operated or hard-wired smoke detector, in proper working condition, on each level of the unit.
(e) Common areas. The common areas must be structurally sound, secure, and functionally adequate for the purposes intended. The basement/garage/carport, restrooms, closets, utility, mechanical, community rooms, day care, halls/corridors, stairs, kitchens, laundry rooms, office, porch, patio, balcony, and trash collection areas, if applicable, must be free of health and safety hazards, operable, and in good repair. All common area ceilings, doors, floors, HVAC, lighting, outlets/switches, smoke detectors, stairs, walls, and windows, to the extent applicable, must be free of health and safety hazards, operable, and in good repair. These standards for common areas apply, to a varying extent, to all HUD housing, but will be particularly relevant to congregate housing, independent group homes/residences, and single room occupancy units, in which the individual dwelling units (sleeping areas) do not contain kitchen and/or bathroom facilities.
(f) Health and safety concerns. All areas and components of the housing must be free of health and safety hazards. These areas include, but are not limited to, air quality, electrical hazards, elevators, emergency/fire exits, flammable materials, garbage and debris, handrail hazards, infestation, and lead-based paint. For example, the buildings must have fire exits that are not blocked and have hand rails that are undamaged and have no other observable deficiencies. The housing must have no evidence of infestation by rats, mice, or other vermin, or of garbage and debris. The housing must have no evidence of electrical hazards, natural hazards, or fire hazards. The dwelling units and common areas must have proper ventilation and be free of mold, odor (e.g., propane, natural gas, methane gas), or other observable deficiencies. The housing must comply with all requirements related to the evaluation and reduction of lead-based paint hazards and have available proper certifications of such (see 24 CFR part 35).
(g) Compliance with State and local codes. The physical condition standards in this section do not supersede or preempt State and local codes for building and maintenance with which HUD housing must comply. HUD housing must continue to adhere to these codes.