Town Justice John Fried

Landlord Zic sought to recover possession of the subject premises from Section 8 tenant Smith, and a money judgment for arrears alleging Smith refused to pay “rent” for a portion of the premises that was not approved by a public housing agency. Zic acknowledged Smith was not in arrears regarding her share of the monthly rent approved by the agency. The court found Zic breached its contract with the agency and federal regulations by charging Smith additional rent for a third floor attic without its knowledge or approval. The court stated instead of extracting money from Smith for the attic, Zic could have applied to make that section part of the Section 8 premises with the agency’s approval, or blocked Smith’s use of the attic as an additional bedroom. As Zic failed to do so, Zic may not recover the Section 8 premises and obtain a money judgment for rent arrears because Smith refused to pay “rent” for the attic premises that the housing agency did not approve, and the petition was dismissed.