Eviction Warrant Vacated in Nonpayment Proceeding
Facts: An owner sued to evict a Section 8 resident who failed to pay his portion of subsidized rent for two months. The court ruled for the owner based on the resident's default, but later reopened the case. The resident got a commitment from the local department of social services (DSS) to pay the unpaid rent. However, the owner wouldn't provide a W-9 form and proof of a tax identification number needed to complete the paperwork. The owner then obtained a second eviction warrant based on the resident's nonpayment. The resident, now represented by an attorney, asked the court to set aside, or vacate, the eviction warrant. The court ruled against the resident.
Decision: The appeals court reversed the lower court's decision and ruled for the resident.
Reasoning: Given the resident's age, long-term tenancy, absence of prior history of nonpayment, and the DSS commitment to pay his full rent arrears, the eviction warrant should be vacated, the court reasoned. In addition, since the owner receives project-based Section 8 assistance, governing regulations state that the owner must not interfere with the efforts of residents to obtain rent subsidies or other public assistance.
- Monastery Manor v. Donati, July 2010