query: evictions for tenant action
colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Wed Mar 7 23:00:42 CST 2007
[ed: thanks to Larry for responding to Del-Rio's query.]
From: Larry Yates <lamaryates at igc.org>
Jonathan Lowe has already given the best advice here, to contact the
local Legal Services office. This is the kind of case that LS folks
spend a lot of their time on, and generally do a good job on.
If this is in fact a HUD assisted property, Legal Services has
several good legal "handles" to work with, since such tenants have
more rights than private tenants in most states.
In addition, the National Alliance of HUD Tenants
(www.saveourhomes.org/) may be able to help:
tel: (617) 267-9564
fax: (617) 522-4857
naht at saveourhomes.org
Finally, the owner may be subject to political and media pressure
-- HUD can make life miserable for the owner if there is a scandal,
especially if there is a Member of Congress interested. I would urge
the tenant to contact the most sympathetic of her two Senators
(McCaskill or Bond) and one House of Representatives member (Rep.
Clay?) -- at their local office, not the Washington office. Find a
local person in one of their St. Louis offices who is willing to help.
A couple of other points for this email list, based on my time as the
landlord-tenant advice person for the state of Virginia some years
ago and my work with HUD tenants:
1) Private landlord-tenant law is generally state law and it varies
radically from state to state. At its worst, it is literally feudal
(landLORD). When I gave advice in Virginia, I frequently talked to
people who have moved from NY, Mass. or NJ, where landlord actions
that were commonplace in Virginia were illegal and unthinkable.
Landlord-tenant advice (except for federally assisted properties)
does not travel well across state lines. So though this is a national
email list, we shouldn't give advice based on what works in our state.
2) However, even in Virginia, I was told by a court clerk that most
tenants who took their cases to court won them. This is, of course,
partly because almost no tenants do show up in court. If you have
documents and a good case, it is often worth going to court, and
depending on the state, may be worth going even if you don't have a
3) Housing is a human right. Support the National Low Income Housing
Coalition and your state housing coalition. People are going through
this agony every day, and will continue to as long as low income
people are in the for-profit housing market.
colist at comm-org.wisc.edu wrote:
> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
> All replies to this message come to COMM-ORG only.
> [ed: thanks to Jonathan for replying to Del-Rio's query.]
> From: "Lowe, Jonathan \(LRC\)" <Jonathan.Lowe at LRC.KY.GOV>
> Del-Rio Swink-Lee,
> You may wish to contact Legal Services of East Missouri, "an
> independent, non-profit organization that provides high-quality civil
> legal assistance and equal access to justice for low-income people in
> Eastern Missouri" (http://www.lsem.org/).
> Their web page relating to housing services states, in part: "The
> Housing Unit represents clients in all matters regarding housing. We
> handle landlord-tenant matters including lease terminations, eviction
> and rent suits, security deposit and habitability issues. ... We
> advocate for tenants whose landlords engage in illegal eviction
> Contact information:
> St. Louis (Main Office)
> 4232 Forest Park Avenue
> St. Louis, Missouri 63108
> Phone: (314) 534-4200
> Phone: (800) 444-0514
> Fax: (314) 534-1425
> info at lsem.org
> Best wishes,
> Jonathan Lowe
> River City Housing Board of Directors
> Louisville, Kentucky
> colist at comm-org.wisc.edu wrote:
>> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
>> All replies to this message come to COMM-ORG only.
>> [ed: this message has some similarities to a "phishing" message, but
>> I contacted the sender and verified that she actually sent the
>> message. Please feel welcomed to copy COMM-ORG with responses.]
>> From: N2Deep793 at aol.com
>> I am a resident in the 7th Ward of St. Louis Missouri and had been
>> summoned to court to answer to charges that my landlord said that I
>> owed that included back rent and a security deposit that was paid
>> four years ago when my family moved in. When we appeared in court on
>> Monday, Feb 26 for the second time on this issue, we showed the
>> attorney for the landlord evidence supporting our claim that the
>> security deposit had been paid years ago. We had also already paid
>> the amount of rent that was said to be owed by us, leaving only the
>> disputed security deposit. With this being presented, the attorney
>> asked for a
>> second continence and we are to appear in court on March 12 in a
>> trial setting because of our disagreement on the amount that is owed.
>> On Tuesday, February 27 I got a visit from the manager of the
>> complex where
>> I live and was served a notice that I have to move out by March 31.
>> The notice states that because we are not on a yearly lease, that it
>> is there choice to do this. The notice was accompanied by another
>> document that states a
>> totally different amount than what was on the court summons as all
>> of the
>> management companies document do. Different amounts on each
>> document. Our yearly lease
>> ended on December 31, 2006. We received and tried to return the new
>> lease to them long ago and were told that until we went to court on
>> the issue that
>> we were disputing, they would not accept it. Basically, what is
>> being done
>> is hush, pay the amount that We say you owe and then maybe we won't
>> throw you
>> and your family on the streets!
>> I had no idea that the Management company would do this to us and
>> feel that it is in retaliation because we have evidence of shoddy
>> paperwork and other circumstances that led to our problem. The
>> property that where we live has been funded by HUD and was built five
>> years ago and has gone through several on site office manager
>> changes. We have been through a lot here, but due to my health
>> condition (I am being treated for breast cancer)and other
>> circumstances, we cannot move. It will cause harm to many things in
>> our lives including our children. Is there anything that we can do to
>> stop these proceedings that
>> we feel are being done in retaliation for exposing their mistakes.
>> I am a breast cancer patient and my family has no where to go, is
>> there anyone who can assist us in this matter. We just would like to
>> pay what we owe
>> and not be kicked out on the streets.
>> Del-Rio Swink-Lee
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