MOR stands for “Management and Occupancy Review.” During an MOR, a representative from either HUD or your Contract Administrator (CA) will visit your site and perform an audit of your files and an inspection of your property. The MOR process is a lengthy one: it may take a day or more. It’s important that you and your staff are prepared for everything that the reviewer will be looking for.
Fortunately for Property Owners and Managers, the form that your reviewer will use is freely available for all to see! It’s almost like getting the exam in advance: you’ll know precisely what to expect if you are well-prepared. The MOR reviewer will be using the HUD Form 9834 to help them to assess whether your property is meeting HUD’s standards.
The 9834 is divided among seven different categories, and each of these categories is worth a specific weighted percentage of the entire score. Categories include General Appearance and Security, Follow-up and Monitoring of Project Inspections, Maintenance and Standard Operating Procedure, Financial Management and Procurement, Leasing and Occupancy, Tenant/Management Relations, and General Management Practices.
You can prepare for your MOR by performing your own “mini-audit.” Take a sampling of your tenant files and analyze them as if you, yourself, are the MOR reviewer. Print the 9834 on your own and, using Addendum A of the form, go through each page of any given file. Pay attention to all the required documents and make sure that your files are in a consistent organizational paradigm.
- Make sure all your files are ready to go! Confirm that no files have been misplaced and that they are all secure in a locked filing cabinet. You don’t know exactly which files the MOR reviewer will choose, but you can expect that they’ll want to see a wide variety of file types.
- If you know in advance that there are errors in your tenant files, master files, or other records, be prepared to explain what happened. Be honest and confirm with the reviewer that you are aware of the issue. Include an explanation or a clarification in the file to document the issue. Have an corrective action plan in mind: know how you plan to prevent these errors from recurring.
- If you’re limited on time (property management can really fill the day!), focus your attention on new move-in files, move-out files, transfers, and files with complicated sets of income/assets/expenses. Be sure to keep your applicant files on hand – including those you’ve rejected. The reviewer will want to see these as well.
- If your reviewer is coming directly from HUD, they will be examining your financial records in detail. Make sure these are available, clear, and accessible.
- Inform your residents well in advance that the MOR is happening. The reviewer will be inspecting a random selection of units, so be sure to follow your state/local laws surrounding access and timeframes in which to inform residents of the inspection.
- Never underestimate the power of a good walk-through the day of the audit. Before the reviewer arrives, you and a fellow staff member should take a walk through all parts of the property to look for any last-minute fixes. Something as small as a beer can in the elevator or a broken lawn sprinkler can give your reviewer a harsh initial opinion of your property, and can impact their entire review.
If you’re interested in becoming an expert in how the MOR process works, consider enrolling in NCHM’s Management and Occupancy Review Specialist (MORS) course. This class is available both in-person and online on a regular basis.