box by management, I discovered the rental lease had the office's physical
address instead of mine. I had not received a copy of the lease from
Section 8. My mail was going to the office. I received a
notice that I failed to appear in court on December 9, 2010 in my mail
box on Sunday, December 12, 2010, after I got home from church. A
default judgment was made. I filed an answer stating that the mail was
going to the office and I did not receive notice until December 12, 2010. It was denied. What can I do?
I am on Section 8 and signed a lease on July 28,2010. The manager told me I had to pay August's rent for the apartment because Section 8 would not start paying until September. She faxed the lease to Section 8 while I was in the office. I was told I could move in by Mrs. Stephens in charge of relocation at Section 8. While living in the apartment defects began appearing. During the month of August water started dripping from the kitchen ceiling over the stove and refrigerator from a leak that had been covered over with caulk and paint, the dishwasher did not drain, the air conditioner stopped working, there was an electrical problem with the breakers and the wall sockets, and the light in the bedroom and laundry room stopped working.
On September 7, I received a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent from a new manager. I told her that I had a lease through Section 8. She said to disregard the notice. I told her about the problems I had reported to the previous manager. She said she would take care of it. On September 23rd, my case worker phoned me and said she had sent a letter to the manager at Olympia Heights stating that she needed a lease dated September 1, 2010. I went to the office and told the new manager about the lease. She said she had sent it.
Section 8 did another inspection on the apartment and found the repairs were not done. On October 5 the repairs were finally completed. Mrs. Heyliger at Section 8 phoned and said they would pay the rent. I received an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent. I went in to see Mrs. Heyliger and she said they offered to pay the rent, but the manager decided not to accept payment from Section 8 and started eviction procedures. Mrs. Heyliger said I would have to pay the rent myself. However, she did give me an extension on my voucher to find another place.
On October 21, 2010, a letter was placed in my mail box by the office saying I owed $1,258.00 and had to pay within seven days. After speaking with a lawyer at Legal Services I received a letter December 7, 2010 stating, "Although you were trying to get your apartment through Section 8, Section 8 did not approve of the apartment. For Section 8 to pay the rent, you have to wait until after the place passes inspection before moving in. Section 8 did not agree to pay the rent with this landlord. So, you are the one who owes the rent. On your court date, you will be evicted for non-payment of rent. You will have seven days to be out of the apartment before the landlord can have the sheriff put you out. There is no defense to non-payment of rent. You will be evicted when you go to court." I called her, but she was on leave. I filed an answer to the eviction stating that Section 8 had offered to pay the rent, but it was not accepted. I contacted Section 8 by email and left voice messages trying to find out about my lease. I have not been able to speak with anyone. They have a recording saying they have stopped taking walk-ins and I have no way of knowing what is going on with my lease because I can't get in touch with anyone at their office.