Section 8 Tenant Evictions

On July 11, 2012, in Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Section 8 Tenant Evictions

SECTION 8 TENANT EVICTIONS

In order to evict Section 8 tenants, landlords must follow special procedures that apply uniquely to Section 8 tenancies. The process is more complicated and difficult than typical evictions, but landlords with good reasons for evicting tenants should not be discouraged.
Section 8 is a government program that subsidizes a portion of certain tenants’ rent. The program is administered by NYCHA, the New York City Housing Authority. People may qualify for Section 8 vouchers for a number of reasons. People with mental illnesses or physical disabilities, for example, may be eligible for Section 8 vouchers. Some Section 8 vouchers may be transferred, by the tenant, from residence to residence, while other vouchers remain with the rental unit. In either case, a portion of the rent will be paid by the government directly to the landlord. The tenant is only responsible for the portion of the rent that is not covered by the voucher. If the landlord seeks any part of the subsidy portion in the eviction action, then NYCHA must be joined as a party to the case.

In any Section 8 eviction, NYCHA as well as the tenant must be notified of the grounds for eviction before the landlord begins the case. Once NYCHA and the tenant are notified, the process the landlord will have to follow will depend on the grounds for eviction. If the tenant is being evicted for nonpayment of rent or holdover based on termination of a Section 8 voucher, then the landlord must send a certification stating the grounds for eviction to NYCHA and the tenant. (A “holdover” is when a landlord evicts a tenant that remains in a rental unit after the lease has expired, or because the tenant remains in the unit after violating lease terms. If the lease agreement is contingent upon the Section 8 voucher, then termination of the Section 8 voucher would give the landlord grounds for eviction. This would be a holdover based on termination of a Section 8 voucher.) The landlord can then request a certificate of non-objection from NYCHA. Section 8 tenants can only be evicted for “good cause” – such as creating an ongoing nuisance or violating the law, among other things. NYCHA must be assured that the tenant is being evicted for good cause. If NYCHA issues a certificate of non-objection, then the certification of grounds may be substituted for the allegations in the landlord’s petition. If NYCHA does not respond in a timely manner, the landlord can begin the case, but should include an allegation stating that NYCHA has not responded in the petition. NYCHA may object to the grounds for eviction in the certification. In this event, the case may still proceed, but NYCHA must be joined as a party to the case. After this, the case can proceed as a typical eviction action.

Each of these procedural requirements must occur within specified timelines, and there may always be special circumstances demanding other procedural actions. Section 8 evictions can be one of the more difficult areas of housing law. But if the grounds are there, eviction is an option.

Landlord Tenant Attorneys

If you have any questions about this, or other legal issues, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to schedule a free consultation.

Landlord Liability

On March 5, 2012, in Landlord-Tenant, Personal Injury, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

Landlord Liability

In a recent case involving landlord liability, Brathwaite v. New York City Hous. Auth., 2012 NY Slip Op 1422 – NY: Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2012, the Court ruled that The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was not liable for injuries the plaintiff sustained when he was assaulted inside the apartment of his girlfriend.

The court acknowledges that landlords have a common-law duty to take minimal precautions to protect tenants and their guests from the reasonably foreseeable criminal conduct of third parties. However, the court finds that NYCHA was not the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries.

Here is part of the Court’s reasoning:

Moreover, and contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, both NYCHA and American established their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that any negligence on their part was not a proximate cause of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. The plaintiff claimed that security was inadequate because NYCHA and American failed to repair a broken lock on the entrance to the building. However, the plaintiff testified at his deposition that the two locks on the door to Patsy’s apartment were functioning on the day in question. He further testified that he did not know how Glenn entered the apartment prior to the assault, that he and Patsy may have left the door unlocked when they entered earlier that day, and that Glenn may have had a key in any event. There was no testimony or documentary evidence arising from the investigation of the incident which suggested that Glenn had forcibly entered the apartment, or that he gained access other than through the front door. Thus, even if Glenn entered the building of his own accord because of the inoperative lock, he could not have gained access to the interior of the apartment where the assault occurred unless, as had been done on prior occasions, a family member let him in, furnished him with a key, or left the door unlocked.

Mineola Personal Injury Attorneys

As always, The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC is here to assist you with your Personal Injury or Landlord-tenant matters. Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation.

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