Saturday, February 28, 2015

OHA Knowingly Processed Ineligible Tenants for Assistance


The OHA knowingly processed ineligible tenants for housing assistance...and got caught

In 2010 I had to evict a tenant who had damaged her unit, well beyond what would be considered normal wear. The tenant, her phony assistance animal and her unauthorized and undocumented boyfriend, caused nearly $7,000 in damages to the unit. 

In order to get a judgement against her and to document my losses, I filed a small claims case against her, which was heard in District Court on, December 2, 2010.

During the course of the hearing, the tenant alleged that she left her unit (in the pictures below) in EXACTLY the same condition that she received it in from Kier.

Because Kier had placed this tenant, the only proof that I had to the contrary was in the unit Move-in Inspection Sheet that was provided to me by Kier.

I also pointed out to the court that, per  HUD / OHA regulations, all units must pass a Housing Quality Standards Inspection prior to the unit being rented and that this unit would have never passed the inspection had it been in this condition. Unfortunately, without a copy of the OHA's inspection report, all I had to rely on was Kier's inspection sheet, but given Kier's deplorable record keeping habits, the Move-in Inspection Sheet they had completed when the tenant moved in, was utterly useless as you can see here.

Fortunately, the judge agreed to continue the case until Feb. 17, to afford me some time to gather more proof that the tenant was lying.

On December 7, 2010 I sent an email to Lin Fulcher,  the Special Programs Manager at the OHA, asking for a copy of the rent-ready HQS inspection that they had done on the unit, prior to the tenant moving in.

The response that I got from Ms. Fulcher was that due to the move to their new offices, my request could take up to 10 days to process, but I never heard anything more from her. 

With the court date fast approaching and after 2 follow-up emails and a couple more phone calls, my request for a copy of their rent-ready unit inspection was finally addressed....42-DAYS LATER! 
 December 7, 2010: Email and Request letter sent to OHA

December 8, 2010: OHA response indicating a delay of up to 10-days


January 18, 2011: - OHA sent me a copy of their inspection...

  42 Days after I asked them for it
Although I won the case against the tenant, she failed to pay the court ordered judgement against her, making her ineligible to receive housing assistance under this or any other Federally funded program.

According to HUD rules...

"Under Program rules, a person who leaves a rental property owing money to the Landlord, shall become ineligible to receive further housing assistance, under this or any other HUD funded program,  for a minimum of 3 years or until such time as the person can show proof that he or she has made full restitution to the Landlord and the debt has been cleared"
... Unless your with the Ogden Housing Authority 

Coincidentally, a few months later, I ran into my former tenant at the Ogden Housing Authority on June 7, 2011, being processed for housing assistance.  

When I confronted her, my former tenant quickly ran from the building to a waiting car and drove off... but not before I snapped this picture of her. 

Knowing that she was ineligible to receive housing assistance due to the unpaid judgment I had against her, I asked the Ogden Housing Authority why they were processing her for assistance.

Although the OHA tried to deny that they were processing her for assistance, a week later I received a money order from my former tenant, for the full amount of the judgment.



This is an email that I sent to Robeka Sessions at the Ogden Housing Authority, asking why they approved a tenant for housing assistance, when she was ineligible, due to the fact that she left a property owing money to the landlord. What made my inquiry particularly embarrassing for the OHA, is that the property she left owing money to, was mine. 

Regrettably, I had to evict the tenant less than 3-month after she moved in, for illegal drug activity on the premises. The unit stood vacant for another 2-months before we found another suitable tenant... Money I wouldn't have lost had the Ogden Housing Authority done their job. 



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