Marianne Patyk was comfortable living in her home of 24 years while on social security disability. Thirty days before her lease was up, it was taken away.
The 61-year-old Tucson resident is facing termination of her tenancy and must vacate her home on Monday, Oct. 31. Her lease ends Wednesday, Nov. 30.
On Aug. 9, she received a letter from the property manager, Irene Saadeh of Fort Lowell Realty and Property Management, stating, “Notice of termination of lease agreement.” The notice clearly states, “Your tenancy will terminate on Oct. 31, 2022, at the end of your lease period,” which is incorrect.
“A week ago Monday, I called Irene and she said, ‘You want the facts? I’ll give you the facts. We are not renewing your lease,’” Patyk recalled. “I called my DDS case worker Teresa (Wright) and she put me on a three-way call.
“Theresa said to Irene, ‘Hypothetically speaking, if Marianne was not on section 8 how much would these apartments be?’”
She was unaware that Patyk was listening to the conversation.
“She said, ‘Well we won’t know until we get in the apartment and assess everything.’
“Irene said, ‘Is there somebody on the line with us? This conversation is over,’ and then she hung up,” Patyk said.
Patyk said she believes she is being discriminated against because she is in section 8 housing.
“The new owner doesn’t want section 8 in here,” Patyk said Saadeh told them.
“My lease is for a one bedroom, and I’m paying $913 for it,” Patyk said. “They won’t let me stay here until the end of my lease for $913?”
She explained one of the maintenance workers came by and said they were cleaning up the place and getting rid of the lowlifes and the druggies.
“‘We are going to do a beautification of this place,’ and they only tore down the rusty shed,” Patyk explained they said.
She said, “Teresa Wright told Irene, ‘The lease is up Nov. 30’ and Irene said, ‘I don’t care she needs to vacate 30 days from September.’”
Wright, case worker for Disability Determination Services (DDS), said she could not discuss Patyk’s case, due to HIPAA and other legal grounds.
She did say she would refer someone in the same situation as Patyk to talk to section 8 legal housing department for aid and refer them to the Southwest Fair Housing Council.
Patyk did just that. She contacted the City of Tucson Housing and Community Development Department. Armida Chin, housing specialist, was assigned to Patyk as her case worker.
Ernesto Portillo, the public information officer for the Department of Housing and Community Development, said he would refer others in this situation to Southwest Fair Housing Council and Southern Arizona Legal Aid.
However, Patyk did complete the S8 Resident Worksheet. Patyk said she believes they have found another section 8 housing apartment for her.
When Saadeh was called for comment, she said, “This is something I won’t discuss.”
According to the American Apartment Association, “In the U.S., landlords are obligated to comply with all federal laws in addition to landlord-tenant laws in their property state. Technically, a landlord can break a lease early, but not without good reason. Unless the tenant violates the lease, a landlord’s grounds for early termination must be stipulated and agreed upon within the lease agreement.
“For example, a landlord breaking a lease early to move into their property is legal, provided it is specified in a termination clause in the lease agreement. You cannot just show up at your tenant’s door and evict them on a whim. Good practice suggests you ensure your tenants are aware of the small print and that you give them sufficient time to find a new place to live. It’s vital to draw up a concise and clear lease agreement to protect your rights and ensure each party understands the repercussions should they violate them.”
Ann O’Connell, attorney for the internet legal site NOLO.com, said, “Notice of termination without cause in Arizona. Unless a landlord has cause to terminate a tenancy early, the landlord can’t make the tenant move out before the end of the lease or rental agreement. Whether the landlord has to give the tenant notice that the tenancy won’t be renewed depends on the type of tenancy.
“Ending a fixed-term lease without cause. When a tenant has a fixed-term lease, such as for six months or one year, the landlord can’t make the tenant move out until the term has ended. The landlord doesn’t have to provide the tenant with notice ending the tenancy unless the lease specifically requires it. Otherwise, the landlord can expect the tenant to move by the end of the tenancy — and if the tenant doesn’t move out, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.”