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I applied for an apartment through Section 8 and signed a lease…

I applied for an apartment...
I applied for an apartment with a Section 8 voucher and signed a lease dated July 28, 2010. I have an email from Ms. Cathy Harris, director over the program, stating that the apartment passed inspection on July 29, 2010. The manager faxed over the lease to Section 8 and said I had to pay August's rent and wait for Section 8 to start paying the September rent. After moving into the apartment in August, I discovered there were electrical problems with the lights and sockets going off and on, the air conditioner needed freon, the dishwasher was broken, and there was a leak in the kitchen ceiling which maintenance had caulked and painted over. They caulked the bathtub several times and we were not able to use it for several days each time. They damaged the fuse to the water heater. Then the toilet started leaking. The maintenance men were not very good at their job. I reported these problems. Section 8 did another inspection and did not pay the rent. I received a notice from the new manager to quit for default in terms of lease and demand for possession of premise and right to cure on September 9, 2010.After calling the office and speaking with the new manager and telling her that I was on Section 8, she said that the previous manager was let go and that she would take care of it. The repairs were not completed until October 5. Section 8 then said they needed a lease dated for September 1, 2010. The previous lease was dated July 28, 2010 with the office's address on it, which may explain why I never received any mail from Section 8. I was given an eviction notice. I filed an appeal and discovered that my mail was going to the office. I missed the court date on September 9, 2010 because I did not know about the court date until I received a notice of appearance filed on 12/9/2010 in my mailbox on 12/12/2010. A default judgment was made in the plaintiff's favor.I filed a motion to Set Aside Judgment for Possession and it was denied. In order to appeal I have to (a) Pay circuit court filing fee; or approved waiver of filing fee; (b) Security for costs in the amount of all lower Court costs; (c) Supersedeas Bond in the amount of the past due rent payable since time of filing action in the amount of $1258; (d) Future rents in the amount of $600.00 dues on or before the 1st day of each month, and late on the 5th day. Rent must be paid into the Court when it is due while case is on appeal. A hearing for damages is set for Hearing on Damages on January 26, 2011.I cannot get any information from the Section 8 office. They are not responding. I contacted Legal Services and received a letter stating "Although you were trying to get your apartment through Section 8, Section 8 did not approve of the apartment. For Section 8 to pay the rent, you have to wait until after the place passes inspection before moving in. Section 8 did not agree to pay the rent with this landlord. So, you are the one who owes the rent. On your court date, you will be evicted for non-payment of rent. You will have seven days to be out of the apartment before the landlord can have the sheriff put you out. There is no defense to non-payment of rent. You will be evicted when you go to court." I moved in August because the lease was approved by Section 8, but they didn't pay rent for August because they paid the rent at my previous apartment for August since I moved after August 3, 2010. The inspection was passed on July 29, 2010. I went into the office on July 29 and was told I could move. I never received the lease because it went to the Olympia Heights office. The manager has all the mail from Section 8. When I went to the Section 8 office and told them that repairs had been done, Ms. Heyliger stated that she would agree to pay the rent. She said that management would not accept the offer and said they would evict. I received a notice saying "Pay or get out. Pay or get out. Leave this unit now. You can not stay for free. The Sheriff will be here soon. We will throw you out with pride. Turn in yours keys immediately!!!!!!! I have tried to contact the legal services and the Section 8 office to find out why they say they don't have a lease, but they are not responding. What can I do?
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Answered in 14 hours by:
12/17/2010
Fran-mod
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 48
Verified

Hello,

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
This is a letter sent to Mrs. Heyliger, contractor at Section 8. She appears to think that I moved into the apartment before it was inspected.
------------------

s. Lawson the previous manager contracted with Mrs. Stephens for me to move. She sent the lease to Mrs. Stephens on July 28, 2010. I saw Mrs. Stephens on July 29, 2010 and we went over the contract. The inspection was done on July 29, 2010 and was approved. I also called Mrs. Stephens on August 1 and she told me it was approved for me to move and gave me a pink slip to give to the manager at Virginia Meadows. I moved out on August 3, 2010 and turned the key into Rickey Simmons, the manager at Virginia Meadows on August 6 because he was out of the office on August 3, 2010.
On September 7, I received a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent from the new manager, Kristal. I told her that I had a lease through Section 8. She said to disregard the notice. I told her about the problems I had reported to the previous manager, Ms. Lawson. She said she would take care of that. I did not hear anything from her or Section 8 about my lease. I had to call the Housing Authority manager to have Mrs. Cathy Harris and Williams to return my phone calls. Mrs. Harris informed me by email that the Olympia Heights apartment had passed inspection on July 29, 2010 and that she had forwarded my email about August's rent to Mrs. C. Williams and Mrs. Stephens and that one of them might get in touch with me.
When I spoke with Mrs. Williams in August about the rent not being paid she said that August's rent was paid to XXXXX and refused to give me more information. The manager at Olympia Heights told me that I had to pay for August and that Section 8 would pay in September. I had no idea that the lease at Olympia Heights was not completed. No one informed me of this in any of our conversations. Why didn't Mrs. Stephens or Mrs. Williams mention anything about the contract not being approved at that time or what had to be done at that time if the lease had not been approved? On September 23rd, Mrs. Williams phoned me and said she had sent a letter to the manager at Olympia Heights stating that she needed a lease dated September 1, 2010. I went to the office and told the new manager, Kristal about the lease. She said she had sent it. I did not hear from Mrs. Williams. In the meantime, Kristal sent a letter stating that the rent had not been paid. I contacted Section 8 and was told that I would have to pay the rent by Mrs. Williams and did not give me any further information. She said I would have to pay the rent at Olympia Heights in full before she would give me an RFTA. I asked her to send me a letter with that information and she refused.
Can you tell me why I the lease was not approved? I have tried to the best of my ability to reason why this has been so much trouble for your office to handle. Mrs. Williams told me I had to move from Virginia Meadows and I did. Why didn't Mrs. Stephens tell me the lease had not been approved before she told me I could move into Olympia Heights? I know that we had to change the rent rate on the lease for Mrs. Stephens, but that was done on July 29, 2010. A copy was faxed to her from Ms. Lawson and I met with her for approval on July 29, 2010. She gave me an estimate of what amount of rent I would have to pay. Why didn't Mrs. Stephens make it clear that she was not going to honor the contract before she told me I could move in August? She gave me a pink slip and told me I had to move by August 3, 2010. After receiving the lease in September, I saw that the previous manager had placed the office's address on the lease. I tried contacting Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Stephens, and Mrs. Harris by phone and left messages on their voice mail. They did not return my calls. As a matter of fact, they did not respond until I called the Housing Authority Office and had them relay messages to them. This is not my fault, I was only doing what they told me. It appears that they have given me the run around and are now saying my lease was not approved. This is very frustrating. I also feel they intentionally delayed and ignored my requests for information to move in a timely manner. I feel that I have been dealt an unjust blow.
.
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
New VM (3) - 0:24 minutes in your magicJack mailbox from XXXXXXXXXX /span>

From: "magicJack" <[email protected]>

Reply To:
To:"Customer" <[email protected]>
Cc:
Bcc:
Sent: Mon, Jul 19, 2010 05:47 PM
Download All | msg0003.WAV (53KB)

Dear magicJack User: You received a new 0:24 minutes voicemail message, on Monday, July 19, 2010 at 08:47:42 PM in mailbox XXXXXXXXXX from XXXXXXXXXX To access your voicemail: Double click the attached .WAV file, or dial your magicJack telephone number from any telephone and press the "*" key at the welcome prompt. You will be asked to enter your voicemail password.

"Hello, This is Cathy Harris at Montgomery Housing Authority calling for Ms.Customer
Ms. Cottrell we need you come by the office on tomorrow to sign the papers, ahh, the unit
that you have selected is affordable and we need to schedule an inspection. Ahh,If you
can come by 8 and 12 tomorrow and sign your ahh, FT. Thank you."

Customer reply replied 7 years ago
New VM (3) - 0:24 minutes in your magicJack mailbox from XXXXXXXXXX /span>

From: "magicJack" <[email protected]>

Reply To:
To:"Customer" <[email protected]>
Cc:
Bcc:
Sent: Mon, Jul 19, 2010 05:47 PM
Download All | msg0003.WAV (53KB)

Dear magicJack User: You received a new 0:24 minutes voicemail message, on Monday, July 19, 2010 at 08:47:42 PM in mailbox XXXXXXXXXX from XXXXXXXXXX To access your voicemail: Double click the attached .WAV file, or dial your magicJack telephone number from any telephone and press the "*" key at the welcome prompt. You will be asked to enter your voicemail password.

"Hello, This is Cathy Harris at Montgomery Housing Authority calling for Ms.Customer
Ms. Cottrell we need you come by the office on tomorrow to sign the papers, ahh, the unit
that you have selected is affordable and we need to schedule an inspection. Ahh,If you
can come by 8 and 12 tomorrow and sign your ahh, FT. Thank you."

-------

Re: Unit Inspection

From: Cathy Harris <[email protected]>
Add to Contacts
Reply To:
Cc:
Bcc:
Sent: Thu, Sep 23, 2010 04:49 PM

Ms. Cottrell,
Ms. Williams will be handling the processing of your file. I will forward her this email in case she need to contact you.
Â
Cathy Harris

On Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 5:34 PM, [email protected] <[email protected]> wrote:
Thanks for your email. I need a refund of August's rent that I paid by money order to Olympia Heights previous manager, Amelia. The new manager, Crystal, informed me that she has sent a copy of the lease to your office.
Customerbr />XXX-XXX-XXXXÂ

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Cathy HARRIS <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Cc: Cyntha Williams <[email protected]>, Sandy Stephens <[email protected]>
Subject: Unit Inspection
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 22:04:46 -0500

Ms. Cottrell,
Your unit passed inspection on 07/29/2010.� It is in the process of being completed and we will need a copy of your lease.� I am copying this email to Ms. Stephens and Ms. Williams and hopefully one of them will contact you and your landlord�by Friday.
�
Thanks for your patience.
�
Cathy Harris


Customer reply replied 7 years ago
New VM (3) - 0:24 minutes in your magicJack mailbox from XXXXXXXXXX /span>

From: "magicJack" <[email protected]>

Reply To:
To:"Customer" <[email protected]>
Cc:
Bcc:
Sent: Mon, Jul 19, 2010 05:47 PM
Download All | msg0003.WAV (53KB)

Dear magicJack User: You received a new 0:24 minutes voicemail message, on Monday, July 19, 2010 at 08:47:42 PM in mailbox XXXXXXXXXX from XXXXXXXXXX To access your voicemail: Double click the attached .WAV file, or dial your magicJack telephone number from any telephone and press the "*" key at the welcome prompt. You will be asked to enter your voicemail password.

"Hello, This is Cathy Harris at Montgomery Housing Authority calling for Ms.Customer
Ms. Cottrell we need you come by the office on tomorrow to sign the papers, ahh, the unit
that you have selected is affordable and we need to schedule an inspection. Ahh,If you
can come by 8 and 12 tomorrow and sign your ahh, FT. Thank you."

-------

Re: Unit Inspection

From: Cathy Harris <[email protected]>
Add to Contacts
Reply To:
Cc:
Bcc:
Sent: Thu, Sep 23, 2010 04:49 PM

Ms. Cottrell,
Ms. Williams will be handling the processing of your file. I will forward her this email in case she need to contact you.
Â
Cathy Harris

On Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 5:34 PM, [email protected] <[email protected]>
Thanks for your email. I need a refund of August's rent that I paid by money order to Olympia Heights previous manager, Amelia. The new manager, Crystal, informed me that she has sent a copy of the lease to your office.
Customerbr />XXX-XXX-XXXXÂ

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Cathy HARRIS <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Cc: Cyntha Williams <[email protected]>, Sandy Stephens <[email protected]>
Subject: Unit Inspection
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 22:04:46 -0500

wrote:
Ms. Cottrell,
Your unit passed inspection on 07/29/2010.� It is in the process of being completed and we will need a copy of your lease.� I am copying this email to Ms. Stephens and Ms. Williams and hopefully one of them will contact you and your landlord�by Friday.
�
Thanks for your patience.
�
Cathy Harris

-------
Complaints Unresolved


Reply To:
Cc:
Bcc:
Sent: Thu, Sep 23, 2010 03:06 PM

Dear Fountainbleu, This is to let you know that my apartment has some serious problems that are not being resolved. At first, the air conditioner went out and needed freon. We could not stay inside the apartment because it was too hot. Now, the electrical and plumbing system are seriously failing to work properly and appliances are breaking down. The ceiling lights and wall sockets are constantly flickering off and back on. My rotating fan's power goes up and then goes down frequently. Every night I set the time on my electric clock and in the morning it is flashing showing signs that power went out during the night. The bathroom plumbing is leaking down into my kitchen ceiling, in front of my stove and refrigerator. It has red and black mold growing in it. The dishwasher does not work properly, it is holding water. The maintenance men, Lee and David, have tried several times to correct these problems but have been unsuccessful working with used parts. There are carpenter ants on the back of the building and they are eating the walls of the laundry room inside out. I have contacted the manager, Crystal, of Olympia Heights about these problems a few times. I have waited patiently for management to take the proper steps to repair these problems since I have been here (August 11, 2010). I just moved in because I was waiting for the previous manager to get an apartment ready for me to move in since April, 2010. I feel that Amelia, the previous manager, gave me the worst apartment in the complex. Now, I am being harrassed with "notices of infractions" from Crystal, claiming excessive noise from my apartment, disturbing the neighbors, not observing a 10 p.m. curfew. Her remarks were "When told by security to go inside, they must follow our rules or your lease will be terminated." I have no knowledge of what this is about. I don't know what neighbors she is referring too. None of these allegations are true. I feel that I got this notice because I have been complaining about the problems in my apartment. When I called the office and spoke to Crystal about meeting to discuss the notice of infractions she placed on my door today, she started yelling through the phone that she knew I called the home office, but "the home office can't do anything" about her and hung up on me. I have contacted Legal Services about this matter. This type of behavior is not necessary and is completely uncalled for. I have been very patient waiting on management to handle this matter professionally. I do not appreciate the manager resorting to threatening me with made up allegations and sending the police to my apartment to harass me, my family, and friends. Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX Cottrell XXX-XXX-XXXX


Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Dear Fran,
Sorry about sending the same information over and over. How can I delete some of my repeated posts?
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Information for move

From: Amethyst <[email protected]>
Add to Contacts
Reply To:
Cc:Cathy HARRIS <[email protected]>, XXXXX XXXXX <[email protected]>
Bcc:
Sent: Wed, Oct 27, 2010 11:57 AM


Ms. Cottrell, I called the complex on 10/26/10 to let them know you wanted to remain in the unit. I was advised that Krystal was out and I needed to speak with her. Krystal left me a message stating that last Thursday you called the office and said you still had problems with the unit. She prefers that you locate another unit, since she has already filed for eviction. You can come to the office for another Request for Lease Approval to locate a unit. Please bring me a note requesting an extension on your Voucher listing the problems you have had. When seeking a unit, complete a preliminary check of the unit's condition. The unit must pass Housing Quality Standards, and remember do not move into the unit before it passes inspection since MHA cannot pay for the unit unless it passes.
I hope you have a find something very quickly.
Please let me know if there is anything else we can do to assist you.
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 124,203
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Verified
You said the court would not vacate the default judgment, for what reason would they not vacate? Did you provide evidence your mail was not properly sent to you and as such you did not receive proper notice for the hearing?

Also, you posted some correspondence above that shows that the Section 8 office did the inspection and approved in July, did you name Section 8 in your counter claim in the eviction suit?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
In my first appeal I stated that Section 8 offered to pay the rent. I paid my portion of the rent in October. My appeal was "In the District Court of Montgomery County, Alabama, Case No. 03-DV-2010-90261900. I am making a motion to set aside judgment in this case on grounds that I did not receive notice of the court date, and request a new trial court date. The letter was sent to the main office address at Olympia Heights."

The District Judge Sharon G. Yates stated "Defendant's Motion to Set Aside Judgment for Posession is Denied. Defendant has seven days to appeal this matter. Done this 14th day of December, 2010" There was no reason given.
So, you have to file the appeal and will have to file your motion for waiver of bond and filing fees if you cannot afford them. In your motion to appeal you have to present some evidence that you never received your notice to appear and had you received it you would have appeared and have been able to defend yourself. Until you appeal the default judgment, I am afraid all of the other issues you have raised cannot be argued. The issues you have raised are indeed valid. You have evidence that there was an inspection and an approval and if your default judgment is vacated then you would have to file an amended answer to the complaint and file a countersuit against the Section 8 office and the landlord. Against Section 8 for breach of contract since you have evidence in the email correspondence that you were approved and breach of contact against the landlord in that they failed to provide proper repairs which interfered with your right to peaceable possession and use of the premises. The landlord had a duty to repair and if you gave them notice and they failed to do so then you have a right to withhold rent until the repairs are made and that is your defense to the non-payment or rent along with the breach of contract against the Section 8 office.

You need to try again for legal aid to assist (although you have very articulately set out your issues in your case, getting familiar with the rules of procedure and evidence would be something you will need to do to succeed in trial without an attorney) and if legal aid will not assist call the state bar and ask for the pro bono attorneys in your area who can assist you.

You have issues that can win your case, but the big thing you need to overcome before you can argue them is the default judgment and you have to prove good cause for not appearing. You have good cause, but you need to prove that you never received proper notice which is good cause for not appearing.

************************************************************************

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Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 124,203
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Verified
Law Educator, Esq. and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I can prove that I have mail with the correct address on it. The mail from the office that was placed in the mail box on Sunday has the office's address on it. The District Court clerk said that I wouldn't be able to waive the bond or filing fees which will make the total $1661 which I don't have. I may have $1258 left after I pay you and the cost of moving. The clerk said that I should call the court on Monday to see if the attorney has filed for possession and that the Sheriff may notify me or not. Will I have to move out immediately? If I accept your answer now, will I be able to still talk with you about this?
The clerk really doesn't know about waiver of the bond and fees, they are just giving you an opinion and the court is the only one who can decide and it depends on your proof of indigency (that you have no money to afford to pay). But, until you overcome the default judgment, you can have all of the evidence in the world none of it does you any good because the default judgment prevents you from introducing anything but proof as to why you did not appear and you had good cause for not appearing.
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 124,203
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Verified
Law Educator, Esq. and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Thank you so much. Your answer is great! I will contact Legal Services on Monday and hopefully have Mrs. Nowell file the appeal. Legal Services will help me with the counter suit won't they?  I am not familiar with suing anyone. I am disabled and have a 15 year old son.  I was  thinking about packing everything up and putting it in storage and going to an extended stay hotel. I am having a hard time finding another place that I can afford that is not a slum because I fear my child wouldn't stand a chance in such a poor environment. Section 8 has been very difficult to work with and I don't think they will be too happy when I sue them.  Several other people and one non-profit organization that counsels potential homeowners for the City have been complaining about the inattention and mismanagement of Section 8 in Montgomery, AL.  I will have to keep my courage up.  Your help is greatly appreciated. I am going to accept your answer and refer you to others.  Thanks and have a happy Christmas. I thank God for you.  I really do.  My anxiety is quieting down.  God bless you.
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Did you get paid? I gave you a $30.00 bonus for answering the question. Is everything okay?
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
The Section 8 payment standards for Montgomery, Alabama, should be made higher to meet the need for suitable housing. Although with a higher rent the family is required to pay 40 percent of their income towards rent, it must be done in some cases for the family be able to rent a home in today's market. Right now, many vouchers will expire before more affordable housing becomes available. The economy is deflated and yet those who have made investments in real estate want to see great returns on their labor, but who is able to pay for homes in poor, minority communities? Homes are available, but they are not in habitable or great living condition. The owners are absent, either in distress, or moving on up, and can't or either won't keep the homes livable. They are allowing blight to develop in good locations. This increases new investors coming to create gentrification (better homes with high rents) and thereby displacing the people who are living in the community because there is no where else for them to go. This is disheartening. I believe its time the people who are already there begin enjoying some gentrification for a change.

I feel that I will have to make the sacrifice of a higher rent payment in order to live in a house. Without the PHA's help I will not have any place to live. I will become a homeless statistic. The 60 percent payment will help keep a roof over my family's head. Otherwise, we will be without a home and that leads to becoming a poorer family with many more problems.

According to the Housing Choice Voucher Program Guide:

Payment Standard Amounts Based on the 50th Percentile Rent: Success Rate

PHAs not in metropolitan areas with published 50th percentile FMRs may request HUD approval to use the 50th percentile rent if the higher rent levels are needed to ensure that more voucher holders will be successful in finding decent affordable housing.

The term "success rate" refers to the percent of applicants issued vouchers who successfully find and lease a program unit before the voucher expires.

To qualify for "Success Rate" payment standard amounts using the 50th percentile rent, a PHA must have:

Payment standard amounts should be high enough to allow families a reasonable selection of modest, decent, safe, and sanitary housing in a range of neighborhoods in the PHA's jurisdiction. To meet that objective and to support families wishing to move to areas with lower concentrations of poor and minortiy households, a PHA may establish higher payment standards schedules for certain areas within its jurisdiction so that program families can rent units in more desirable areas.

The PHA's procedures for establishing and revising its payment standard schedule must be set forth in its administrative plan.

A PHA is required to establish payment standard amounts for each unit size in an FMR (fair market rent) area.

Yes, legal aid should help you counter sue Section 8 and the landlord/management company once they get past the default judgment against you. Unfortunately, yes Section 8 can be difficult to deal with many times and working with them can be frustrating, but it appears that you have familiarized yourself with their rules and those rules are what you need to use against them in making them live up to what they are obligated to do. Thank you and happy holidays to you.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
What will I be able to get if I sue? Compensation for pain and suffering (I am literally sick over this), a voucher to move to another residence, moving expenses?
If you sue you would get your actual damages, including costs of any moves, but that would be it. No pain and suffering because that is not available on a breach of contract claim.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
The lease I have has the wrong address on it and is dated July 28, 2010. I know there were three different lease agreements sent to Mrs. Stephens at Section 8. One had the $540 discounted price on it which she sent to Mrs. Stephens for approval and Mrs. Stephens at Section 8 told Ms. Lawson she needed a new lease with the $600 rent rate on it because they could not contract with a discounted rate on the lease. Ms. Lawson said she would update the front page of the lease on her computer and send it to Section 8. She did not give me a copy of the lease at that time. However, Kristal, the new manager, said Mrs. Williams had sent her a letter requesting a new lease dated September 1, 2010 and that she had sent it to her. Is this going to be a problem for me? I think Mrs. Stephens should have caught the error and said something about it because when I called her on August 1, 2010 and asked her if everything was okay for me to go ahead and move and she said yes.
Once you get the default judgment vacated, then you would argue that the address error is a "ministerial error" or an administrative/typographical error.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Okay. Would that cover the date on the lease being one day before the inspection? The manager told me to sign the back page and she would do the rest.
Yes, in almost all cases it will cover you, but the court could also state you should not have signed an undated lease or a lease that was not completed. Also, in these cases, the fact that you have proof the inspection was approved would support your grounds that the date was irrelevant as they did approve the apartment after inspection.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I appreciate your response. I live in Montgomery, Alabama, and the system has not always been kind to people like me. You have eased my anxiety. I only hope my legal services lawyer will be as good as you are.
Thank you for your kind words. Unfortunately, the law does not always seem to work out in the way we expect it to work and all we can do is hope that the courts will follow the law and justice will prevail.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I have appealed the case. I spoke with Mrs. C. W. at Section 8 and she is insisting that there is no contract between PHA and the owner of the property. Mrs. W. has been difficult from the very beginning and I believe she has been uncooperative by not providing the necessary information to complete the process. She gets annoyed whenever we speak and shuts down. How can I get around her?
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I have left messages for the legal services lawyer to contact me so that I can discuss why she feels I don't have a contract. She is not returning my calls. I guess they are busy over there. However, Mrs. W. is the problem because she is being deceptive. She called me and said she had written a letter to the manager about the contract having to be dated September 1, 2010 to proceed. Now, she is claiming there is no contract at all. She told me that I could not have an extension of time to look for an apartment with the voucher and Mrs. H. granted me an extension. When I asked Mrs. Williams about a guide to help me with the process, she said they didn't have one. She gets upset when I ask her pertinent questions, rolls her eyes and escorts me out of the office.

When I spoke with her today, she insisted there is no contract and asked me if I had found another place because my voucher is going to run out on December 27, 2010. She tells me to speak with Mrs. H. I believe that something fishy is going on because Mrs. H. is an outside contractor hired to help them, but she obviously doesn't have all the facts. She was willing to help me resolve the problem, but now it appears that someone is not being truthful.

At this point you have to go to Ms. CW's supervisor and if she refuses to give it to you then you file a complaint with the state and federal housing authority office against her. You need to provide them the documentation you have and you will need to inform them she is not being truthful your complaint with the evidence of the emails to back it up and let them investigate her and the situation.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Mrs. C. Harris is Mrs. C. Williams supervisor. I will ask her for it and see what she does. I may have to add her to the complaint. The legal services lawyer Ms. N. called me today, she said the case was closed after she looked at the lease and wrote me that letter. She said that she did not have access to the PHA files. However, I have written her a long email with all the facts and am waiting for her to respond now. Thank you. Will let you know how it goes.
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
The legal lawyer Ms. N. says that I can't sue Section 8 for breach of contract. The State Bar Association does not have pro bono lawyers. They referred me to a Volunteer Group of Lawyers but they do not take any cases involving suing Section 8. The South is hard to get along in if you don't know somebody that knows somebody. Everybody knows everybody and nobody wants to make enemies. Help!!!!!!!!!
That is the best you can do here is work your way through her supervisor and through legal aid. Section 8 can be sued if they were negligent in their actions, now it may be the legal aid lawyer has reviewed the file and does not find negligence but that is a bit different from not being able to be sued.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I will do what you suggest and pray. The Lord says He will never leave you nor forsake you. I will gather my courage and press on. You have been a G-d send. Thank you again.
Thank you and you just need to be persistent.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I went in to see Mrs. C. Williams today. When I asked her why the contract was not done with the current place I am living she stated that I had complained about the apartment and the contract wasn't done. I made the complaint to the manager on August 23, 2010 and when nothing was done. I made the complaint to Section 8 on September 23, 2010. If they had approved the apartment on July 29, 2010 and Mrs. S. Stephens told me it was okay to move on August 1, 2010 didn't that mean that the contract was from that date on? Why wouldn't they pay for September 1, 2010? Why would they delay processing the contract since the complaint wasn't made to them until September 23, 2010? They did the second inspection on September 28 and it did not pass because management had not completed all the repairs. Is her reason legit?
Yes, if they told you it was approved to move in on August 1, then anything that happened after the fact does not negate their August 1 approval. Your subsequent complaints should not have anything to do with this issue and it seems like she is making excuses for an error they have made.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I have found another place and Section 8 will pay for it. I have a court date on January 26, 2010 for Hearing on Damages. Since I haven't gotten any more information from the attorney at Legal Services, what should my argument be? I don't know what investigative work she has done or how she will represent me. She has not mentioned anything about getting the default judgment vacated.

You stated, "The landlord had a duty to repair and if you gave them notice and they failed to do so then you have a right to withhold rent until the repairs are made and that is your defense to the non-payment or rent along with the breach of contract against the Section 8 office." Will that work in Alabama since they have no statutes about withholding the rent here?

When I signed the lease it had the correct unit number, with another building's number. I discovered that the secretary to the previous manager lived there. I believe that she is the one who was getting my mail and opening it and then placing it in my box. She has since moved. I don't know her full name.

There was one certified piece of mail that was opened and placed in my box in October. I don't know if the address error is a "ministerial error" or an administrative/typographical error, or a purposeful error.
You would have to raise the failure to make repair argument being a breach of the lease. Also, you need to keep trying to contact the legal aid attorney to discuss this with them. Additionally, your argument to remove the default is only that you were never given notice and they tried to give you notice at the wrong address as shown by the address on the mail.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
A friend who is a realtor has suggested that I try to qualify for a mortgage. I have very little income. She says I can qualify for a FHA loan and get downpayment assistance from the city because of the President's neighborhood stabilization program, but they will only approve the downpayment on homes that are move-in ready. The city is rehabilitating some homes in low-income areas, but they are only doing two or three at a time. It will probably be years before there are enough to go around.

There are several low priced foreclosures in the area that the banks want convential cash for and are being sold as is. Some appear to need a few cosmetic repairs, but the conditions of the systems are unknown. Since my budget is so low I cannot purchase one and re-hab it. If there were a program to allow part of the loan to go for repairs and still allow me to get the downpayment assistance, I might have a chance to get into a private home. I would have to save money for future repairs and maintenance and that may present a problem if the a/c unit or plumbing went out while I was still paying the mortgage and then where would I be? So few options.
The problem is that you would still have to be able to afford the mortgage payments and being on such a limited income, I am afraid that you would likely not qualify even under one of the few federal programs, which are almost impossible to get money from anyhow and give out so few grants at all. If the realtor is willing to work with you on these grants that would help, but do not go into this expecting it will be easy or that it will be given to you.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
We have homes here costing $9,000, $15,000, $30,000, and up. They are not in the best of neighborhoods (I've lived in some) and most were built in the 60s, but people have been living in them and some are still habitable. If I were able to get a part-time job and allowed a small loan to purchase one, perhaps I could make it work. I am not greedy.

When I think of how people live in third-world countries, a small shack in peace is better than a small 850 square foot apartment in misery with dishonest people in high places lording their power over you like an iron fist. I grew up in a community where my people "up from slavery" built their own homes from scraps of lumber picked up here and there, pumped water from a spring, used newspaper and flour glue to paper their walls to keep air out, had potbelly stoves, used outhouses, raised their own food, etc. that gradually grew into a community with $100,000 homes being built later on. I believe I can struggle to achieve something better one day. If its the Lord's will, I will survive anything the devil can throw at me. With godly people in this world anything is possible. Only believe!
You will need the job first and to show that your job is fairly stable before they will even consider you.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Thanks for everything. Have a Happy New Year!
Thank you and same to you.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
The legal services lawyer says that I signed the lease on July 28, 2011 and the apartment was not inspected until July 29, 2011 and that means that I am on the hook for the rent. She says that she cannot get in touch with Mrs. Harris at Section 8. Mrs. Stephens and I went over the lease on July 29, 2011 and she mentioned that I had already signed the lease, but said nothing else to me about it. It appears that the manager had just corrected the amount of the rent on the lease and left the date unchanged. However, Mrs. Williams called after I complained about the apartment and said that I needed a lease dated for September 1, 2011. The manager at the apartment said that she had received a letter from Mrs. Williams and had sent her the lease. Am I responsible for the error?
That is very unfortunate to hear, but I am afraid the lawyer you are using is absolutely correct, if you signed the lease before the inspection it is grounds for them to deny payment and it leaves you responsible for the payment.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Would this be an administrative error on the part of the landlord?
Your attorney has actually had the benefit of reviewing all of the documents, which is more than I have had the benefit of. If you can prove the contract has the improper date and it was an administrative error then that would be a valid argument but you would have to have some evidence that you did not sign the contract on July 28, but on the 29th and the date was an error.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
She has never met with me or seen any documents. I did have a friend who was with me when I went to sign the lease. I took the lease on the same day that I signed it to Mrs. Stephens at Section 8. She did say that I had already signed the lease, but did not say anything else about it. I assumed that she would correct the matter, but I see now that she did not. The changes the manager made was for the rent amount only. What about Mrs. Williams calling and saying that she needed a copy of the lease dated September 1, 2011? The manager did say that she had sent it to her, but I don't have a copy of it. I don't know if she did or didn't and I don't think Mrs. Williams will say that she received it.

I did file a motion to vacate the judgment and received a letter from the circuit court saying, "The above styled case was received and filed in this office. You will be notified by the court of any hearings set on this case. Please use the above case number XXXXX all pleading filed with the court."

On my answer I said "Since the manager and maintenance deliberately hid serious electrical and plumbing problems Section 8 denied payment of the rent leaving the lease unresolved. When problems were fixed the manager didd not want to rent to me." I probably should not have said that, but I didn't know exactly how to state my answer. How should I amend the answer?
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Sorry, I made an error in my previous post.  Mrs. Williams said she needed the lease dated September 1, 2010 when I spoke with her on September 23, 2010 over the phone.  She said she had mailed the manager a letter.  I never received a letter.  <br /><br />I actually signed the lease on July 29, 2010 because the inspector was in the offfice on the 28th to inspect another apartment and said that she would have to schedule the inspection for the next day when she returned to the office. Ms. Lawson, the manager at that time, said that she would correct the first page of the lease and call me when the inspection was done to come in to sign the lease.  It seems like she made an error in not changing the previous day's date.  Mrs. Stephens never told me not to sign the lease.  She told me to give the packet to the landlord.   I assumed the landlord knew what she was doing.  Should I supeona Ms. Lawson and the inspector?
You need to explain that to the legal aid attorney for her to try to use that in your defense, that you signed the lease on the 29th, even though it was dated the 28th and you would need to get some witness to that fact. But your answer was fine, there were problems with the apartment and that is another ground, but against the management company/landlord, to dispute paying the money on the lease, since they were in breach of contract.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Dear XXXXX, I went to court by myself and the attorney for the complex kindly gave me a notice that they were suing me for damages to the apartment. However, I did not damage anything and cleaned the apartment leaving it like I found it. I had photos to prove it. The judge admitted the case could go either way; that it looked as if Olympia Heights and Section 8 had dropped the ball...and asked us to mediate. They ended up keeping the cash and my deposit and cancelled the claim for damages. My credit was not harmed. I moved to another apartment which is not much better and discovered the housing inspector was let go (feel she was used as a scapegoat) and I feel sad about that. The housing authority got a brand new building with stimulus money and now appear to be more respectful of their clients. I have a part time job and pray that I hit the lottery soon! That KS, again, for your wisdom. May you be blessed abundantly!
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX nice to hear that while it may not have worked out 100% in your favor, it at least worked out for you.
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