Housing Authority Didn't Give Resident Legal 15-Day Notice
Facts: The Hartford Housing Authority sought to terminate a resident's lease for conduct violating the lease. In its initial letter to the resident, the housing authority alleged that the resident didn't comply with its rules and regulations and requested that the resident attend a conference to discuss the matter. The letter indicated that the lease would terminate “unless these actions or their results can be and are corrected by you within 15 days.”
Then, without explanation, the housing authority sent the resident a second pre-termination letter, which also cited the resident's failure to comply with the authority's rules and regulations. That letter also notified the resident that his lease would terminate “unless these actions or their results can be and are corrected by you within 15 days.”
The housing authority then sued to evict the resident.
Ruling: The court ruled for the resident.
Reasoning: The court ruled that the housing authority's multiple termination letters were confusing to the resident and not specific enough in their allegations of the lease violations.
In addition, the court ruled, the authority's pre-termination notice was legally insufficient because if there is a material noncompliance by the resident with a rental agreement or a material noncompliance with the rules and regulations, the housing authority must deliver a written notice to the resident specifying the acts or omissions constituting the breach and stating that “the rental agreement shall terminate upon a date not less than 15 days after receipt of the notice.”
Since a resident must be given 15 days to respond to an owner's claim of material noncompliance with the express terms of a residential lease, the housing authority's attempt to evict the resident could not stand, the court ruled.
- Hartford Housing Authority v. Idis, April 2010