*The properties displayed in the picture above do not represent the house discussed in the case.

Nancy had been living in her apartment with her 7-year-old daughter for six years when her landlord asked her to move out. Initially, it had been an oral notice as her newlywed landlord had told Nancy his in-laws were moving into the unit by the end of the year. Nancy however, could only foresee the pain of looking for a vacant apartment in Bayview that would take her Section 8 voucher. The prospects were dismal.

Nancy’s landlord gave her the option of moving into the downstairs unit, where six other people were already living. Not only did her Section 8 voucher not allow the change, but also the thought of raising her daughter in a house with six strangers seemed dreary.

Once she refused the landlord’s proposition, he threatened to issue a 60-Day Notice. Concerned, Nancy decided to seek legal help. She came to our office, where she met with David Smith, one of our staff attorneys. After reviewing her Section 8 voucher and housing documents, David realized that Nancy had been required to pay a higher rent than the amount outlined in her lease. On top of that, the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) had been giving Nancy’s landlord a lower subsidy then the amount disclosed in her Section 8 voucher.

While David worked on adjusting the rent discrepancies, Nancy received a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, in which the landlord claimed more back rent than he was legally due. The notice, however, has not been copied to SFHA as instructed by federal law. Based on the rent discrepancy and the deficient 3-Day Notice, David started negotiating a move-out agreement with Nancy’s landlord. After some tough negotiations, a settlement was reached: Nancy received a significant monetary settlement and a rent and utility waiver until the move-out date.

Nancy is relieved by the outcome of her negotiations with her landlord, and she has several good prospects for new housing.


Posted on

July 7, 2015