Lease Termination Notice to Disabled Tenant Fatally Defective
LVT Number: #30039
Landlord sued to evict HUD Section 8 tenant for breaching his lease. Landlord claimed that tenant engaged in a pattern of conduct that adversely affected the health and safety of other building residents. This included causing repeated instances of flooding into apartments below and refusing to give landlord access to make repairs. Tenant claimed that landlord's termination notice was defective and asked the court to dismiss the case.
The court ruled against tenant, who appealed and won. The HUD Handbook and tenant's Section 8 lease set forth requirements for terminating a tenancy. These provisions required that a termination notice advise tenant that he had 10 days within which to discuss termination of the tenancy with landlord. If tenant requested a meeting, landlord was required to meet with the tenant. The HUD rule and lease also required that persons with disabilities be given the right to request reasonable accommodations to participate in the hearing process. In this case, landlord's termination notice incorrectly informed tenant that landlord "may" meet with him to discuss the proposed termination. And the notice didn't inform the severely disabled tenant that he could request a reasonable accommodation. The combined defects of the termination notice failed to provide the procedural safeguards intended to prevent improper termination of a Section 8 tenancy. The court urged landlord and tenant to explore reasonable accommodations that would enable tenant to fulfill his lease obligations. This may include commencement of an Article 81 guardianship proceeding.
2013 Amsterdam Avenue Housing Association, LP v. King: Index No. 570117/18, 2019 NY Slip Op 29074 (App. T. 1 Dept.; 3/22/19; Ling-Cohan, JP, Gonzalez, Cooper, JJ)