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#1 FountainbleuSucks

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 04:29 PM

After receiving an eviction letter that was placed in my mail
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.  


#2 Fallen

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 06:25 AM

A bit too much extraneous detail there (and naming names doesn't help the reader).


We cannot know from here what you can do (even if we knew where you were), other than to find a local lawyer to talk about this with.  It sounds like you've received a number of notices about the court action regardless of the wrong address.


"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." 

And you presumably showed this to the legal aid attorney who, if (s)he knew anything about landlord-tenant law, would have told you that a court date doesn't mean eviction same-day even IF the court finds in favor of the landlord.  :)

While it sounds like you knew the eviction had been filed and even filed an answer about the Section 8 issue, the bottom line perhaps is that you can't pay the rent and the landlord will ultimately get a court order for possession of the place if you cannot produce the rent.


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#3 FountainbleuSucks

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 08:38 PM

In tenant-based programs, tenants are not responsible for payment of that portion of the 
rent covered by housing assistance payments under the landlord's HAP (housing assistance
program) contract with the PHA (public housing authority). Therefore, the PHA's
nonpayment to the landlord does not violate the tenant's lease with the landlord; and the
landlord may not terminate a Section 8 tenancy during the lease term for nonpayment of
the PHA housing assistance payment. [Title 24 Code of Fed. Reg. ยง 982.310(b)]


#4 FountainbleuSucks

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 10:56 PM

Sorry about that.  I thought the names were crossed out. I received the Notice of the "DEFAULT JUDGMENT"  three (3) days after the actual Court Date in my mail box which is on my front stoop with no lock.  That is when I discovered that the Apartment Office's physical street address was on the lease with my unit number listed under it. I NEVER RECEIVED A NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT.  That is why I  went to District Court and filed a change of address for all future mailings.

The apartment had been approved in July and inspected one day before I moved in. 
They don't start paying until 30-45 days after the contract is signed by the owner and the Public Housing Administration.  The owner has to wait for payment, but they can't breach the lease by not making repairs within a reasonable time.  They must keep good records and have a system to repair things quickly to keep good tenants.


If there are corrections to be made after the tenant has done their part, it is up to the Social Worker hired to catch errors in the process.  There is a log they have to use to as they process the  files to cut down on errors and omissions.  I feel that many workers are having problems admitting they don't know how to use these tools.  They have computers with programs to help them streamline their job, but they don't know how to use them.  Some would rather evade the problem until it becomes an issue.


When I asked for a guide to read, I was told there was none.  I found one on the hud.gov website listed as Housing Choice Vouchers Guide.  I don't know if the attorney checked my file or not.  Her letter is out of left field.








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