Recent Court Rulings

City's Section 8 Antidiscrimination Ordinance Doesn't Violate Owner's Rights

July 17, 2019    

Facts: An owner sued the city over a new law that bars owners from screening out prospective tenants who use Section 8 vouchers. Under the new rules, owners can screen prospective renters but can no longer stipulate that Section 8 tenants aren’t allowed. The ordinance...

Defective Pre-Termination Notice Included Undesignated Charges

July 17, 2019    

Facts: A Section 8 resident signed a HUD model lease for a unit. The term of the lease was for one year, and the resident remained in the unit after the first year on a month-to-month basis. The owner filed for eviction based on the nonpayment of rent in the amount of $1,402....

Resident Breached Lease by Failing to Pay Rent

July 17, 2019    

Facts: A resident of a HUD-assisted site received a rent subsidy that reduced her monthly portion of the rent to $139 of the total rent of $532. The owner sent the resident a “Notice of Termination of Lease” informing her that her lease would be terminated effective...

PHA Can't Terminate Voucher for Single Off-Site Alcohol-Related Crime

June 13, 2019    

Facts: A resident applied for the Section 8 program through the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center (VAMC), and the Veteran’s Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program screened and approved him. The resident entered into a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)...

Resident Can Raise VAWA Defense in Court to Prevent Eviction

June 13, 2019    

Facts: Following nonpayment of rent, a local PHA served a subsidized housing resident with an eviction notice. On the hearing date, the parties entered into an agreement that suspended the eviction action on the condition that the resident make a fixed monthly payment for use...

Resident Didn't Present Enough Facts in Discrimination Lawsuit

May 9, 2019    

Facts: A resident of Iranian national origin filed a discrimination lawsuit against the local PHA and its employees. The resident represented herself and filed the lawsuit on her own without an attorney’s assistance.

Bedbug-Affected Residents Can File Class Action Lawsuit

May 9, 2019    

Facts: A group of residents of a Section 8 site claimed that the site manager didn’t do enough to protect them from bedbugs. Current and former residents of the site asked the court to certify a class based on the PHA’s allegedly inadequate response to a years-long...

Resident Evicted for Assault and Threats Against Manager

April 11, 2019    

Facts: In October 2017, a PHA sent a resident an eviction notice explaining that she had breached her lease by threatening and punching the site manager, violently smacking a clipboard from the manager’s hands, and physically injuring her. The notice identified sections of...

Resident Not Liable for Actions of Her Guests

April 11, 2019    

Facts: A resident’s sister and other guests engaged in a physical and verbal altercation with another resident of the site. The altercation was captured on video, and the police responded to the site. As a result, the owner sent the resident a notice to vacate based on the...

PHA Not Liable for Relocation Benefits

April 11, 2019    

Facts: A resident lived in a formerly federally subsidized property. From 2014 to 2017, the site’s physical conditions deteriorated, as shown by failing Real...

Owner May Be Liable for Tenant-on-Tenant Racial Harassment

March 14, 2019    

Fact: A few months after a Section 8 resident moved into his unit, his next-door neighbor began a relentless campaign of racial harassment, abuse, and threats directed toward him. From the start of the harassment, the resident, “fear[ing] for his personal safety,”...

PHA Liable for Disability Discrimination

March 14, 2019    

Facts: A disabled resident undergoing mental health treatment sued the local PHA for discrimination based on the PHA’s policy concerning “therapy pets.” A month after he moved in, the resident got a cat, and sometime later got a second cat. He claimed that his...