Assisting Housing Authorities and Subsidized Landlords with Legal Issues Related to Housing
At the Landlord Law Firm, we believe that subsidized housing is a highly important resource for many individuals and families throughout Connecticut. However, we also have seen firsthand the issues that public housing authorities throughout the state can face when it comes to managing public housing projects.
Like any other type of property manager or landlord, a housing authority can experience a wide variety of legal issues that can significantly drain resources and can even result in unnecessary liabilities. Housing authorities must have skilled legal representation by a law firm that has extensive knowledge of public housing regulations, requirements, and procedures, and that can protect the rights and interests of housing authorities both in regulatory matters and litigation.
Whether your housing authority would like general legal information or needs representation regarding specific legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact the Landlord Law Firm today. In addition, please feel free to browse our extensive catalog of information regarding landlord rights in Connecticut.
Ensuring Regulatory Compliance
First and foremost, all public housing authorities must comply with the many requirements and regulations enacted and enforced by the Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH), as well as those of other local, state, and federal agencies with jurisdiction over rental properties. Regulations are regularly revised, and it can be difficult to be certain that your housing authority is in compliance with all necessary requirements regarding all applicable properties and rental agreements.
Constantly reviewing regulations and procedures for compliance can take a lot of time and resources away from the other tasks that your staff needs to complete. At the Landlord Law Firm, we can review your records and management policies to assess whether your procedures and actions are in compliance with the many relevant regulations.
Then, to foster better compliance or to adjust for recent changes in the law, we will present you with all findings from our analysis, along with recommendations for changes to your policies and procedures. We will provide counsel and assistance to implement any changes, helping every step of the way until you achieve full compliance with necessary public housing regulations. By doing so, the Landlord Law Firm helps to prevent any issues of noncompliance, including possible costly civil liability or penalties.
Lease Review and Drafting
Like any other type of tenant, the tenants of housing authority-managed properties should always sign thorough lease agreements that address all relevant rights and responsibilities of both the tenants and the landlords. Lawyers should carefully tailor all lease agreements to each specific property and tenant, fully complying with all Section 8 lease requirements and including all necessary provisions. If certain provisions are not properly updated or included, housing authorities may face unnecessary liabilities should legal issues arise.
At the Landlord Law Firm, we will carefully draft and review all lease agreements or lease updates for subsidized housing managed by your housing authority. By having an experienced attorney review your contracts, you will not have to spend time researching possible lease provisions or worrying about whether a lease is legally enforceable and adequately protects the rights and interests of your housing authority. Call today to learn more about how we can assist you with your lease agreements.
Defending Against Fair Housing Claims
While fair housing claims can arise in any rental scenario, they seem particularly common among subsidized housing projects. Both the Federal Fair Housing Act and Connecticut Fair Housing Laws set out anti-discrimination requirements for all landlords or subsidized housing properties. Such discrimination is prohibited under these laws on the basis of the following factors:
- Source of lawful income
- National origin
- Familial status
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity or expression
Accusations of discrimination can arise at any stage of the housing process, from applications to evictions. If applicants or tenants believe they were discrimination victims, they can file complaints with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) or the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
All fair housing claims—even frivolous ones filed by disgruntled individuals—can have serious implications, so any landlord or housing authority should seek qualified legal assistance from a law firm that will defend your housing authority against these allegations in the most efficient manner possible.
Assisting With Tenant Grievances
When subsidized housing tenants or applicants have certain allegations against landlords or property managers, they must follow proper procedures set out by the applicable laws or regulations and cite qualified grounds for their grievances. Grievances can involve many different allegations, and your housing authority should prepare to defend against these grievances to avoid civil penalties or liabilities. Examples of grievances the Landlord Law Firm regularly defends against include:
- Wrongful denial of subsidized housing
- Denial of transfer to another property
- Unfair rent increases
- Failure of housing authorities to make repairs
- Wrongful late fees
- Wrongful lease terminations
Representing Housing Authorities in Evictions
Specific circumstances under which a housing authority may evict a tenant from subsidized housing in Connecticut include:
- Repeated or serious lease violations, such as nonpayment of rent
- Violating any local, state, or federal landlord-tenant laws
- Drug-related activity in or around the property
- Criminal activity that affects the safety or enjoyment of others
- Other good causes, such as property destruction or regularly disturbing others
The Landlord Law Firm will evaluate your situation and determine whether you have the right to evict a tenant, and will help you through every stage of the eviction process to protect your rights.
Contact an Experienced Connecticut Housing Authority Lawyer for Assistance
If you need assistance with any aspect of a subsidized housing project, we can help—from regulatory compliance to eviction. We work to help avoid legal conflicts up front and to efficiently address them as they arise. Please contact the Landlord Law Firm or call for help at (203) 874-4747.