Tenants at a Section 8 apartment complex requested help from Standing with Our Neighbors after landlord issues delinquent balances.
As seems to be our yearly tradition, our staff and partners at Kilpatrick Townsend took on a complex-wide legal issue in 2020.
A Section 8 landlord notified over half of the residents in the complex that they owed back rent and utility payments—dating back to 2003 for some long-term residents. The landlord claimed that our clients were criminals who were dishonest in an effort to game the system, and that they would be evicted absent immediate payment.
Kilpatrick did not balk when we told them that 14 tenants needed our help.
The pandemic had been stressful enough without the threat of losing their housing—and for our clients in this complex (many of whom are elderly), the situation was causing extra stress. Fortunately, the tenant association president (and long-time partner of AVLF) contacted us in an effort to get the balances cleared and again instill a sense of security in the neighborhood.
Kilpatrick did not balk when we told them that 14 tenants needed our help. They immediately formed a team of five attorneys who sought to make the situation right. In addition to regular negotiation with the landlord, the team connected with the clients via group Zoom calls, an outdoor clinic, and multiple socially-distanced meetings in an effort to resolve the matter.
The clients’ balances were cleared—even leaving some clients with a credit on their accounts.
After Kilpatrick’s involvement and the tenants’ own advocacy within the City, the landlord was forced to do an internal review of their operations and systems, which resulted in new property managers and compliance departments. The clients’ balances were cleared—even leaving some clients with a credit on their accounts.
After finally receiving a check from her landlord, a Stanton Oaks resident emotionally told our staff that she appreciates us “looking out for her” because “people don’t look after each other like that anymore.” She even wants to “do lunch” with AVLF and the Kilpatrick team!