Taxagent:First, you are apparently renting a
subsidized unit from a government agency.
Section 55-248.5(A)(8) of the Virigina
Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA)
excludes from the reach of the Act certain
"public housing." If your unit is considered
a form of public housing, it may well be that
the VRLTA does not apply.
According to the Legal Aid Housing Attorney who helped draft a request for a reasonable accommodation in July 2008 for me, we are covered under the VRLTA and according to the Washington DC attorney that is working on my HUD Housing Discrimination Complaint, we are covered under the VRLTA.
Taxagent:Second, you are getting a benefit from the
government in the subsidized housing. When
you are getting a government benefit, you
submit the information that the government
agency wants to make its determination. If
their rules say that they need bank
statements, you give them copies of the
unaltered bank statements. Demanding that the
government explain why they don't want stuff
blacked out won't get you anywhere. All it
does is risk losing your benefit, as appears
to be the case here.
Last year over half the tenants, including myself refused to hand over our bank account numbers when the landlord refused to give us a reason for wanting them and NONE of us had our re-certifications denied. On Saturday I managed to reach 3 of the tenants that refused to turn over their account numbers last year and this year and NONE of them had their re-certifications denied... except mine... the only person so far that has stood up to an unscrupulous landlord and the only person I'm aware of that has filed a HUD Housing Discrimination Complaint against them.
Taxagent:Third, even if the VRLTA does apply, all that
means is that your landlord must follow the
Act. So far, nothing you've stated suggests
that they have violated it. If they lock you
out on the 4th, and assuming that violates
the law, your remedy is take the County to
Our landlord hasn't followed the Act since the place opened in 1993. Our landlord has NEVER given 1 tenant the interest due on their security deposit. My security deposit has been earning interest for almost 16 years and the ONLY way I will see that money is to find a pro bono attorney to help me and then fight for months or years in the hope I may see the money.
Our landlord has initiated dozens of lockouts that I'm aware of and most of the tenants that were locked out didn't know they could call the Police to help them, and probably none of them had the money to hire an attorney. A couple years ago a 19 year old girl was told by the landlord that they didn't receive her rent and she had until the next day (a Friday) by 4 PM to come up with the rent or they would lock her out of her apartment. The young lady produced the bottom half of the money order she used to pay the rent 3 days early and the receipt from the store where she bought the money order. The landlord told her that could have been a money order for anything... clothes, food, electronics, a friend... etc., and that she had until 4 PM to come up with the rent. The young lady was going to school full-time and working part-time and didn't have the money to pay the rent a second time so she begged and pleaded for them to find her rent. At 4 PM on a Friday while the young lady was out trying to borrow money to pay her rent a 2nd time, they locked her out of her apartment. When she couldn't get into her apartment to get the stuff she needed for work, she was fired. Luckily her next door neighbor took her in for the weekend and fed her and gave her a place to sleep. On the following Monday the landlord found her rent behind a desk and unlocked her apartment. Unfortunately she couldn't get another job quick enough and was evicted out of her apartment by way of a Self-Help Eviction (which is illegal).
Now, I have another 8 or 9 stories like the one above I could tell you about our landlord, but it's not going to do any good and it's not going to stop our unscrupulous landlord from breaking the law again, and again, and again, and again, and again...
And yes, it's very easy for you to sit back and tell me to take the County to court when they break the law again, but I'm permanently disabled and living on Social Security Disability and I don't have the money to take the County to court. I got VERY lucky to find a DC attorney to take my HUD Housing Discrimination Complaint for no money but how many attorneys out there do you think there are that will take this case pro bono... ??????????????????????... Hey... if you want to give me the money to hire an attorney then I would LOVE to take the County to court and maybe, just maybe get this landlord to finally stop breaking the law and start treating the tenants with the rights we deserve.