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Middletown Senior Citizens Housing Corporation v. Martin

A-1144-04T1 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2005) (Unpublished)

LANDLORD-TENANT; SUPERINTENDENTS—HUD’s restrictions on evicting public housing tenants are not applicable to evictions of superintendents who has been furnished with housing in connection with the employment.

The superintendent at a senior citizen housing complex lived at the property. One day, he fell on a broken sidewalk and sustained personal injuries. He became physically unable to resume anything other than light duty work and when it became clear that he would be unable to resume his work as superintendent, the housing complex gave him notice that he needed to vacate the apartment that had been supplied by him while he was employed as a superintendent. In the eviction action that followed, the former superintendent argued that the notice he received did not set forth the reason for his termination as superintendent and he asserted that the Anti-Eviction Act requires strict compliance which should have made the notice invalid. The Court disagreed. It found that the “documented history between the parties established that the only reason the tenancy was terminated was because [the former superintendent] was no longer employed as superintendent.” According to the Court, once the former superintendent’s employment was terminated, “he could no longer occupy the apartment in a complex in which he was not eligible age-wise to reside.” The former superintendent also argued that the senior citizen housing complex was governed by the regulations of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and therefore federal law required specific notices. The Court rejected his argument because the regulations cited by the former superintendent were “inapplicable.” The Court pointed out that the former superintendent “was not a tenant who was behind the rent payments. [He] was not being federally subsidized, nor was he occupying the apartment under a lease agreement that spelled out the circumstances under which he could be evicted. Thus, no federal form or notice had to be followed in seeking [the former superintendent’s] eviction once his employment was terminated.

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