Evictions & Lockouts in Public, Section 8, and HUD Housing

Categories :: Landlord/Tenant > Evictions

Public Housing

A housing authority may not terminate your tenancy (right to live there as a tenant) except for :

Serious or repeated violations of "material" (important) lease terms, such as:

  • Failure to pay rent or some other financial obligation or
  • Failure to fulfill a family obligation such as;
    • Not to sublet the unit
    • Not to keep boarders or lodgers
    • To use the unit only as a private dwelling
    • To abide by all housing authority rules and regulations
    • To maintain the unit
    • To not destroy or vandalize the unit
    • To pay for unit damage caused by the family or its guests (other than normal wear and tear)
    • Not to disturb the peaceful enjoyment of other residents
    • Not to engage in criminal activity or alcohol abuse

Other good cause:

  • Criminal activity, drug abuse, or alcohol abuse. Click here for information on substance abuse.
  • After you are admitted, the housing authority discovers that the family is ineligible.
  • You make false statements or commit fraud in the application or recertification .

HUD Housing

The landlord may not terminate your tenancy (right to live there as a tenant) in a HUD subsidized project except for:

  1. "Material" (important) noncompliance with the lease, such as:
    • One or more substantial violations lease violation or
    • Repeated minor lease violations that
      • adversely affect the health or safety of any person or right of any tenant to quiet enjoyment of the project
      • interfere with the management of the project
      • have an adverse financial effect on the project or
    • You fail to supply all information required in the recertification process, or you knowingly provide incomplete or inaccurate information during the recertification process.
    • You fail to pay rent or any other financial obligation and beyond the grace period.
  2. Material failure to carry out any obligation imposed under Maryland's landlord and tenant laws. (See the Summaries of Law)
  3. Criminal activity or alcohol abuse.
  4. Other good cause. This includes a situation where the landlord gives you prior notice that certain conduct will violate the lease in the future.

Notice of Termination

Landlord must give tenant written notice of termination of the lease.  The notice must include the date of termination; the reason for the termination, with enough detail so that the tenant may prepare a defense; and if termination is due to failure to pay rent, the notice must include the dollar amount of the balance due and the date the computation was made; and advice to tenant that if tenant remains past the termination date, the landlord may seek to enforce the termination only through court action, and that if judicial proceedings are instituted, tenant may present a defense.

The notice must be sent to tenant by first class mail, properly stamped and addressed to tenant at his address at the project, and with proper return address.  A second copy must be delivered in person to any adult answering at the door of tenant’s unit.  If no adult answers the door, the notice must be left under the door or attached to the door.

When termination is based on "material non-compliance" with the rental agreement or failure to carry out obligations under state or local landlord-tenant law, then the time of notice must comply with the rental agreement and the law

When termination is based on "other good cause", the termination will occur only at the end of a rental term and in accordance with the rental agreement, and in no case may tenant have less than 30 days' notice.  In addition, for "other good cause" termination, tenant must have received a prior notice stating that his specific conduct, if continued, would constitute a basis for termination.  That prior notice must be served on tenant in the same way as the notice of termination.

Tenant's failure to object to the termination notice does not constitute a waiver of his right to contest the termination in a subsequent judicial proceeding.

Evictions

Landlord may seek to evict tenant only by complying with these regulations and with state and local laws governing eviction procedures.

 State or local law may give to the tenant procedural rights beyond those provided in these regulations, except where the state or local law has been preempted by federal law.

Rent Increases and other Changes in the Lease

The landlord may change the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, provided he has received approval from HUD to do so.  Tenant must be notified of any changes in the lease in the same way that he would be notified of termination of the tenancy, including at least 60 days’ notice in Baltimore City and at least 30 days’ notice in the rest of the state.

Exemptions

These provisions do not apply where tenant's occupancy is terminated because HUD, or the landlord with HUD's consent, has decided to substantially rehabilitate or demolish the project, or sell the project to a purchaser for substantial rehabilitation or demolition.

Section 8 Housing

A housing authority may not terminate a Section 8 voucher except for:

  1. An eviction from Section 8 housing where a judge found a serious violation of the lease.
  2. You fail to sign consent forms.
  3. You fail to establish citizenship status or eligible immigration status.
  4. You violate a family obligation, such as you fail to:
    • Supply required information, or
    • Fix any HQS breach caused by the family, or
    • Make the unit available for Section 8 inspections, or
    • Notify the housing authority and landlord when the family moves, or
    • Not to commit any serious or repeated lease violation, or
    • Provide the housing authority with any lease termination notices, or
    • Use and occupy the unit within guidelines, or
    • Notify the housing authority of any family absence from the unit, or
  5. In addition, it is considered a violation if you are a family member living in the unit:
    •  have any interest in the unit, or
    • commit fraud or other program violation, or
    • engage in alcohol abuse or drug-related or violent criminal activity or activity that threatens the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of other residents or persons residing in the immediate vicinity
    • to accept Section 8 tenant-based assistance while receiving another housing subsidy for the same unit
      • has been evicted from HUD housing in the last five years.
      • has been terminated from the Section 8 program.
      • commits fraud, bribery or any other corrupt criminal act in connection with any federal housing program.
      • has an outstanding debt owed to any housing authority in connection with Section 8 or public housing.
      • violates a repayment agreement to a housing authority.
      • Fails to comply with the family self-sufficiency program.
      • Shows abusive conduct or threatens abusive conduct towards housing authority personnel.
      • Willfully and persistently fails to fulfill welfare-to-work requirements.
      • Commits criminal activity or alcohol abuse.

The housing authority must consider "mitigating" circumstances before terminating the Section 8 voucher, including:

  • The seriousness of the case.
  • The extent of participation of other family members.
  • The disability of a household member.
  • The effect of termination of assistance on innocent household members.

Source: 

Legal Aid Bureau,Inc. (Theda Saffo) and BNI
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