Recent Court Rulings

Owner Can Evict Resident for Letting Guests Smoke in Unit

June 12, 2020    

Facts: Ignoring repeated written warnings, a resident continued to smoke in her Section 8 unit and allow her guests to do likewise. And while the multiple complaints from neighbors about her screaming did little to gain the owner’s affections, the last straw was her arrest...

Owner Waives Right to Evict Disruptive Resident by Recertifying Her Lease

June 12, 2020    

Facts: An owner claimed that over a course of four years, a Section 8 resident was a major nuisance, harassing the neighbors, stealing packages, making excessive noise, and getting into fights. But all the while it accepted her rent. In November 2018, she was arrested on the...

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

December 13, 2019    

Facts: A few months after a resident moved into his apartment, his next-door neighbor began a relentless campaign of racial harassment, abuse, and threats. From the start of his neighbor’s several-month campaign of harassment, the resident, “fear[ing] for his...

Insurer Must Defend Site Owner Against Fire-Related Lawsuit

November 22, 2019    

Facts: Before a resident moved into her unit, a new smoke detector with a new battery was installed. The unit was also inspected by a local PHA inspector who found that the unit had the correct number of smoke detectors and that the smoke detectors were working properly. Shortly...

Owner Must Disclose Documents to Occupant Claiming Succession Rights

November 22, 2019    

Facts: After the death of a Section 8 resident, an owner sought to evict a person living in the unit. The occupant claimed succession rights and tried to prove that he lived with the tenant for more than a year before she died from cancer, and that they were involved in an...

Owner May Be Liable for Breach of Contract

October 29, 2019    

Facts: A former Section 8 resident sued the local PHA and an owner for alleged housing discrimination and breach of contract. The resident claimed that after making written promises to transfer the resident to a new unit free of dangerous inhalants, the owner refused to deliver...

PHA Can Terminate Benefits for False Statements

October 29, 2019    

Facts: A resident was terminated from the Section 8 program after the PHA investigated her marital status. The resulting report concluded that she was married and didn’t provide true and correct information about her...

PHA Accountants May Be Held Liable for Former Director’s Fraud

August 15, 2019    

Facts: A local PHA sued its former accountants, seeking to recover losses from their alleged negligent failure to detect the fraudulent conduct of its former executive director and former finance director. The former executive director’s employment agreements established...

PHA Can Terminate Resident’s Benefits Due to Unauthorized Occupant

August 15, 2019    

Facts: A local PHA sent a resident a notice of the termination of her participation in the Section 8 program. The PHA claimed that the resident improperly permitted an unauthorized occupant to reside with her and this occupant violated the rule against criminal activity by...

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...