Appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of Housing Authority of The City of Pittsburgh v. Charlene D. Green, No. 8624 of 1987.
David B. Washington, for appellant.
Donald Driscoll, for appellee.
Judges Barry and Palladino, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 122 Pa. Commw. Page 529]
The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) appeals from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (trial court) which granted the preliminary objections of Charlene D. Green (Green) and dismissed the HACP's complaint in ejectment against Green.
Green is a tenant/lessee in premises located at 191 Burrows Street in Pittsburgh, a low rent housing project. By letter dated May 8, 1987, the HACP notified Green that it intended to exercise its option to terminate her lease for non-payment of rent. The letter stated that the HACP would terminate the lease fifteen (15) days after mailing of the notice unless Green paid $420.00 in owed rent. The letter further stated:
You have a right to request a hearing on this termination in accordance with Authority lease and grievance procedure.
If you wish such a hearing, you must notify your Manager and fill out a form within fifteen (15) days of the date of this notice; otherwise you will lose your right to appeal before the hearing panel. You must deposit one-half of the above amount of rent with your Manager at the time you file for the hearing and keep your rent current during the hearing procedure.
By letter dated May 26, 1987, the HACP gave Green notice to vacate within fifteen (15) days. Subsequently, the HACP filed a complaint in ejectment in the Court of Common Pleas. The complaint alleged that Green had failed to pay $74.00 per month in rent for the premises and owed the HACP a total of $716.00. The complaint demanded possession of the premises, rental arrears and current rent.
Green filed preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer to the HACP's complaint in ejectment, alleging that the HACP had failed to comply with applicable
[ 122 Pa. Commw. Page 530]
federal regulations concerning grievance hearings and that, therefore, the HACP had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The HACP responded with preliminary objections to Green's preliminary objections. The HACP asserted, inter alia, that Green had presented an affirmative defense, i.e., that the action was barred ...