Judge Marina Cora Mundy


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Landlord sought possession of the premises based on tenant Johnson’s failure to accurately report income in compliance with subsidized housing regulations. The court conducted a hearing in the holdover proceeding, and testimony revealed Johnson failed to report income from a second job, which may have disqualified her from the premises if income exceeded HUD guidelines for subsidy eligibility. Landlord claimed providing false information regarding income was a material noncompliance with the lease subject to termination of the tenancy. Johnson also added a minor child to the household composition, and noted the second job was intermittent. The court stated the record supported a finding Johnson under-reported income and failed to disclose her daughter, but testified same was a mistake, not an intentional failure. It found Johnson committed error, not fraud, as her actions were clearly a mistake in judgment. The court stated while Johnson received a subsidy based on a lower income, same was insufficient to overcome landlord’s inability to prove that withholding such income was intentional. The error was corrected, and was de minimis, hence, it ruled eviction was disproportionate to the violation as to be shocking to one’s sense of fairness. The holdover was dismissed.