Facing Eviction in Your Elderly Florida Residents Living in Section 8 Housing Building: Eviction, Right, and Responsibilities
The Section 8 Housing Program in Florida is a special federal government program that helps the elderly in the form of vouchers that are used to obtain affordable, safe, decent housing. If you are living in these designated senior Section 8 buildings, you have your voucher and fit the requirements for that building. Oftentimes, elderly Section 8 tenants may not be aware of their rights and responsibilities. Understanding these rights and responsibilities is very important, especially when a senior is facing eviction.
Facing Eviction? What to do next?
1) Review all important documents that you have received from your apartment.
2) Seek out legal counsel. If you can’t afford or secure a private lawyer, a legal services organization may be able to represent you.
3) If you receive a summons and a complaint to evict you, do not ignore it. You have 5 days to submit a written response to the complaint. If you do not respond, the Court may issue an eviction order without further notice to you.
4) While your case is pending, you must deposit rent in the “court’s registry.” To do this you should contact the Clerk of Courts who can accept and hold rental payments while your case is pending. If you fail to do this, or ask the Court to determine rent, the law automatically waives all your defenses to the eviction.
5) If your landlord wins the eviction, you will be served a “Writ of Possession” by the Sheriff, which gives you 24 hours to leave the premises.
While you may not be facing eviction in your Section 8 Housing, keep in mind your general rights and responsibilities that will keep you in good standing.
These are your basic rights:
You have the right to prompt maintenance and building upkeep, access to building facilities and services, and to notification of entry for repairs and inspection.
The right to live in decent, safe, and sanitary housing that is free from environmental hazards, such as lead-based paint hazards.
The right to post materials in common areas and to provide leaflets informing other residents of their rights and of opportunities to involve themselves in different events and projects.
If you signed a lease and are receiving Section 8 assistance, you are entitled to the same rights as any other tenant.
These are your responsibilities:
1) By signing this lease, you have entered a legal, enforceable contract with the owner. You must comply with the lease, building rules, and local law.
2) Pay the correct and full amount of rent when due.
3) Conduct yourself in a manner that will not disturb your neighbors. Do not engage in criminal activity in the unit, common area, or grounds.
- Keep your unit clean and don’t litter the grounds or common areas.
- Dispose of garbage and waste in a proper manner.
- Comply with local codes that affect the health or safety of the residence.
- Maintain your apartment and common areas in the same general and physical condition as when you moved in.
For more information on our rights and responsibilities, HUD has published a guide with detailed information that is available online at: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/Housing/documents/resident_rights_brochure_8.pdf