Site Manager Fumbles Eviction Notice
Facts: A site manager in North Carolina complained to police about possible drug activity in a unit. When police arrived, the resident consented to a search. After the police claimed to find drug paraphernalia and traces of drugs in the unit and wrote a citation against the resident, the site manager sought to evict her. The resident, who rented under a Section 8 subsidy, challenged her eviction in court, claiming that the site had not given her a proper notice of termination as required under federal regulations and her lease.
Decision: According to the Court of Appeals of North Carolina, the site management company did not adequately document that it had provided the required notice of termination to the resident.
Reasoning: Under regulations at 24 C.F.R. Section 247.4(a), before terminating the lease agreement of a resident in a federally subsidized housing project, a site manager must provide specific written notice to the resident. According to the court, a resident is entitled to continued occupancy and cannot be evicted until certain procedural protections, such as notice, have been assured. Although the site manager testified that she gave proper notice of termination, the management company could not produce a written notice or a copy of the lease for the court to review. Without this documentation, the resident won the case.
- Timber Ridge v. Caldwell, February 2009
LESSON LEARNED: It is not sufficient merely to follow HUD rules. A site manager must be able to document that she followed the rules.