Q: Help, I’ve been audited by the HPD, now what?
JA: Great question. Firstly, take a deep breath. Unfortunately, our team has recently seen an escalation in HPD’s COTA/Record Audits. If your building has been audited, it’s important to remain calm and organized.
Step #1: Gather All Relevant Documents and information that might be needed for the audit process. If you’ve been storing these records digitally, this should not be too big of a deal. If you are still relying on paper files, then the process will be more lengthy but still doable.
Step #2: Cooperate Fully. Not cooperating with the HPD when being audited can lead to some pretty heavy fines and penalties. You don’t want to cause further problems by not providing complete and accurate information.
Step #3: Seek Professional Advice. The auditing process is no picnic, but no one said you have to do it alone. Reach out to consultant firms (like Jaffa, ofc) who are familiar with HPD regulations and can make sure you’re compliant with the audit requirements.
Step #4: Keep Records. Really this should be an ongoing step. I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping records! Besides keeping records that an audit may request, i.e., inspections, safety mailings, etc., it’s important to maintain copies of all documents you provide during the audit. These records can be valuable in case of any future inquiries.
Step #5: Take Corrective Action: If any issues are identified during the audit, make sure to address and rectify them in accordance with HPD guidelines.
Step #6: Follow Up. After the audit is completed, follow up with HPD to ensure all necessary steps have been taken and that the audit process is officially closed.
Most importantly, remember, an audit doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done something wrong. It’s a routine procedure to ensure compliance with housing regulations. Stay calm, organized, transparent, and seek professional advice when needed. For more information on how going digital can help with your compliance, check out our BLOG.