Resident’s Daughter Not Entitled to Succession Rights
Facts: An owner sought to evict a Section 8 resident’s daughter from the unit after the resident passed away. According to the site managers’ testimonies, the resident had been given a two-bedroom handicap-accessible unit because of her age and disabilities as well as the fact that she also required a 24-hour attendant to assist her.
The resident had asked to have her daughter added to the lease. One manager noted that while the daughter provided her mother’s recertification documents, he had no knowledge that the daughter lived with the resident.
The daughter testified that she requested that the owner add her to the lease and someone told her that she could stay in the unit but wouldn’t be put on the lease. She further testified that they had numerous keys to the unit and that she parked in the parking lot with the manager’s permission. On cross-examination, lawyers introduced a negligence case the daughter had filed against the owner a few years prior. For that case’s deposition, the daughter had testified that she was living at another location at the time of the deposition.
Ruling: A New York court ruled in the owner’s favor and issued a warrant of eviction.
Reasoning: HUD Handbook 4350.03, Section 3-16, covers the requirements used in making a determination regarding the eligibility of a “remaining family member” to succeed to a housing subsidy. The following basic requirements for eligibility must be met for a person to qualify as a remaining family member of a household: (1) the individual must be a party to the lease when the family member leaves the unit; (2) the individual must be of legal contract age under state law; and (3) the remaining family member must be the surviving family member or members of an elderly family or family with disabilities who was a party to the lease and living in the assisted unit with the now-deceased member of the family at the time of his or her death.
According to the court, it was clear from the testimony and documents submitted that the resident’s daughter was not on the lease at the time of the resident’s death. Moreover, it was also clear that neither the daughter’s alleged residence in the subject premises, nor her income information, was included on any of the annual recertification documents. Additionally, although the daughter claimed that she was living with her mother for an extended period of time prior to her death, her claims were refuted by the testimony of the managers and contradicted by her own sworn deposition testimony in her prior negligence lawsuit against the owners. As a result, the court said she wasn’t entitled to unit succession rights.
- Greater Centennial Homes Housing Development Fund Co. v. Thomas, February 2016