Unit Owner Checklist

Make Sure Your Property is Rental Ready

Meet and Maintain Elm City Communities (ECC) Inspection Standards

Housing units participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), commonly called Section 8, must meet and maintain ECC’s Inspection Standards. These standards ensure that all units provide quality living environments for our residents.

The property also must meet the permitting and building code requirements of the City of New Haven. Before submitting the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) form or before a planned assessment, use this checklist to confirm that the subject property meets each basic requirement.

You can also view or download Unit Owner Checklist [PDF].

General Requirements

  • If built prior to 1978, is the interior and exterior of the unit free of lead-based paint hazards and chipping or peeling paint? Refer to HUD for details.
  • Is the unit clean and free of trash and debris?
  • Are the features of the unit working and in good repair?
  • Is the unit free of evidence of insects and vermin?
  • Are all areas, including crawlspaces and attics, accessible for inspection? Landlord must supply a ladder if needed to access the attic.


  • No open/vacant, dilapidated, or fire-damaged units can be adjacent to the property. Typically, lots to the left, right, and rear of the subject property are considered.
  • The property does not create an isolated living environment.
  • There must be no excessive noise/ vibrations, dumping of debris, graffiti or signs of suspicious illegal activity.


  • Does the unit have a mailbox?
  • Are the house numbers visible from the street?
  • Is the yard free of water ponding and severe erosion?
  • Are there adequate facilities to dispose of garbage waste? Do those facilities meet City of New Haven requirements for pickup/removal?
  • Is the yard maintained? Is there adequate ground covering, preferably grass? Trees and shrubs should not touch the exterior of the unit.

Building Exterior

  • Are sidewalks, roadways, and parking areas in good repair and free from hazards?
  • Are the roof, gutters, fascia, exterior cladding, and foundation walls structurally sound, weather-tight, and in good repair?
  • Is the unit free of cracks, holes, or openings that are accessible to insects or rodents?
  • Are all fences and retaining walls in good repair?
  • Do all windows open/close and function properly?
  • Are windows weather-tight and lockable with no broken or missing panes? Panes must not be replaced with Plexiglass.
  • Are proper locks installed on all exterior doors? Double cylinder locks are not allowed
  • Do porches, balconies, or decks that are more than 30 inches above the floor or ground have guardrails at least 36 inches high with pickets spaced no more than 4 inches apart?
  • Do stairs with four or more steps have a continuous handrail on at least one side?

You can also view or download Unit Owner Checklist [PDF].


  • Are utilities (water, gas, electricity) on and operating at the time of the inspection? Permanent power must be on at the unit.
  • Is the water heater properly installed, operational, and equipped with the correct temperature-pressure relief valve? Is the discharge pipe valve routed to the exterior of the structure or to a floor drain?
  • Do the sinks, tubs, and showers have hot and cold water? Proper drainage? No leaks?
  • Does the home have adequate heat and air conditioning? Window units are acceptable. Free-standing floor heaters or electric space heaters cannot be the primary source of heat.
  • Are sleeping rooms free of gas appliances?
  • Is the unit free of electrical hazards such as exposed wires, open junction boxes, missing breakers, and missing covers for service disconnects?
  • Are electrical outlets, switches, and fixtures operable, safe, and within building code requirements?
  • Are electrical outlets in “wet areas” such as kitchen, bath, garage, and exterior GFCI protected?
  • Does the unit contain proof that gas appliances have been inspected by a licensed technician within the last 12 months? Gas Certification may be requested at the Inspector’s discretion.
  • Are all existing fireplaces in safe operating condition or sealed to prevent usage?

Dwelling Unit

  • Are attics adequately insulated? A minimum of 8 inches blown or batt insulation is required.
  • Are floors structurally sound, clean, free of stains, and in good condition? Floor covering such as carpet, tile, or hardwood is required.
  • Is each bedroom size at least 8×10 feet (80 square feet), and does each contain 4 square feet of closet space (rod included) that does not impede the 80 square feet? Is the ceiling height at least 7 feet?
  • Does each bedroom have a secondary means of exit? Minimally, there must be a window with a clear opening of at least 5.7 square feet (approximately 2×3 feet) that is a maximum of 44 inches from the floor. A standard-sized door is also an acceptable means of egress.
  • Does each bedroom have a door for privacy? Any room accessible directly from a garage through a door or window will not be considered a bedroom.
  • If the unit has two or more bedrooms, does the floor plan permit access to a bathroom and common rooms without passage through a bedroom?
  • Do security bars on bedroom windows allow the required means of egress? Security bars must be operable from the interior of the room without the use of tools or a key.
  • Are all windows and doors operable and not blocked? They must not be nailed shut or in any condition that would prevent egress.
  • Is a working smoke alarm present immediately outside of all bedrooms? A single smoke detector may protect multiple bedrooms that are in close proximity. A single smoke detector is required on every level of the home.
  • If the unit has gas appliances, is a working carbon monoxide detector present immediately outside of all bedrooms? A single carbon monoxide detector may protect multiple bedrooms that are in close proximity. Acarbon monoxide detector is required on every level of the home.
  • Does each bathroom have a door with a functioning lock?
  • Does each toilet flush and drain properly? Is each toilet secure to the floor?
  • Does each bathroom have an exhaust fan or window present?
  • Does the kitchen have at least one charged fire extinguisher?

Click below to see case studies and resources that examine partnerships with housing organizations and school districts:
A Case Study on Housing and School Partnerships – New Haven (Urban Institute)
A Case Study on Housing and School Partnerships – Akron, Ohio (Urban Institute)
Seattle Public Schools in partnership with affordable housing partnerships

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