Approved by the Board of Commissioners June 21st, 2012, and Effective October 1st, 2012
It is the intent of the Housing Authority of the Town of Beaufort (BHA) to collect in a timely manner all monies owed to it by the tenants of its housing units. The policy statements contained herein, set forth the requirements for tenants for tenants to meet their financial obligations to the BHA and guidelines for staff to execute their collection duties.
2.0 RENT AND CHARGES DUE AND PAYABLE
Rent for all tenants is due and payable by the first day of the month and is considered late at the close of business on the fifth (5th) calendar day of the month. If the fifth calendar day of the month falls on a holiday or weekend, rent will be accepted, without penalty, on the first business day following that holiday or weekend.
3.0 LATE RENT
With the exception of the circumstances specified in this section, all rent payments not received by the day and time specified above shall be considered late and will be assessed a late fee of $15.00. Payments on behalf of a resident made through an authorized agency which are delayed beyond the fifth calendar day of the month will not be considered late and the resident will not be assessed a late fee if such a delay is not the fault of the resident. The Executive Director may waive late fees for good and valid cause.
A balance of not more than $20.00 may be carried to the next month, and will not be considered delinquent for the purposes of assessing a late charge.
4.0 OTHER CHARGES
Any charges other than rent shall become due and payable on the first day of the second month following the date the charge was incurred by the resident and not earlier than 14 days after the resident has been properly notified of the charge by the BHA. Payment of these charges will be considered late if they are not received by the close of the business on the fifth calendar day of the month in which they are due. If the fifth calendar day of the month falls on a holiday or weekend other charges will be accepted without penalty until the close of business on the first business day following that holiday or weekend. Failure to make full and timely payment of the other charges is a lease violation and grounds for termination of tenancy pursuant to the adopted lease and grievance procedures.
5.0 PAYMENT METHODS AND LOCATION
Non-cash payments (checks and money orders) for rent, security deposits and other charges shall be accepted at the:
BEAUFORT HOUSING AUTHORITY MANAGEMENT OFFICE
716 MULBERRY STREET
No cash payments will be accepted. Payments from authorized agencies will be accepted in payment of rent, security deposits, and other charges.
All checks and money orders shall be made payable to the Housing Authority of the Town of Beaufort or Beaufort Housing Authority. No partial payments for rent and/or other charges will be accepted unless such partial payment is made in accordance with the terms of a valid and up to date “Repayment Agreement.”
6.0 NOTICE OF DELINQUENCY
Any tenant who has not made the required payment of rent by the time rent is considered late will be sent a “14 Day Demand for Rent”
notice in compliance with Federal and State Law. Not later than the first business day immediately following the day the rent becomes delinquent, this notice shall be mailed, certified return receipt requested, or hand delivered by an agent of the BHA to an adult member of the tenant household.
The BHA shall immediately begin legal proceedings to evict tenants who have not paid full rent and other charges, or made satisfactory arrangements with the BHA to make such payments under a repayment agreement, by the expiration of the applicable notice period described above. Once the BHA has filed a petition for eviction with the courts, no payments of rent or other charges will be accepted unless full payment of all amounts due, including applicable court costs/legal fees, are tendered. If these conditions are not, the resident will be expected to vacate the unit or the case will be disposed of through judicial proceedings.
If court papers are filed three times within a twelve month period, the third filing will result in an automatic termination/eviction action.
7.0 RETURNED CHECKS
In the event a personal check is returned by the bank, the tenant will be assessed a $25.00 returned check fee. Any tenant having a check returned is prohibited from making payment by personal check for the next twelve month period.
8.0 COLLECTION OF VACATED ACCOUNTS AND LOSS CONTROL
Accounts of tenants moving out of a dwelling unit owing the BHA rent, repair, and other charges will be pursued for collection. The BHA shall submit these accounts to the credit bureau, collection agency and, if deemed appropriate, small claims court, after reasonable efforts of staff have failed to collect the full amount owed. Staff actions shall be deemed reasonable if, within 30 days of termination of tenancy, the following has taken place:
a. A letter, stated the amount owed and the expectation of payment within 10 calendar days is sent to the last known address of the former tenant, immediately upon determining the balance of the vacated account.
b. Reasonable attempts to reach the former tenant by phone have been made.
c. The payment has not been made in full and the former tenant has not made reasonable arrangements to pay.
Any former resident with an outstanding account balance with the BHA will be denied re-admission unless the past due account is paid in full and all other criteria for admissions are met. Any applicant that is a former resident with an outstanding balance will be given the opportunity to enter into a repayment agreement while they are on the waiting list, however payment in full must be made by the time of final eligibility determination to be eligible for admission.
9.0 WRITE OFF OF VACATED ACCOUNTS
Delinquent accounts of vacated tenants shall not be maintained on the books of account if there is no reasonable chance of collection. Accounts of vacated tenants shall be considered un-collectable if they are over 90 days old and staff has made reasonable, but unsuccessful, attempts to collect the full amount. Such accounts shall be written off through resolution of the Board of Commissioners. The resolution shall identify the receivable to be written off by tenant name, and uncollected amount. Writing off an account as un-collectable does not eliminate the debt of the delinquent vacated tenant.
10.0 REPAYMENT AGREEMENTS
Tenants may, under certain circumstances, enter into a repayment agreement to modify the terms of delinquent amounts owed. BHA shall not terminate the lease of the delinquent tenant for reason of non-payment, unless the tenant fails to keep current rent paid up to date or the term of the repayment agreement are broken by the tenant.
Not more than one repayment agreement may be executed within a twelve month period. Eligibility to enter into a repayment agreement is contingent upon meeting all the following conditions:
a. No other repayment agreement is in force.
b. The tenant has not been delinquent 3 times within the preceding 12 month period.
c. The repayment agreement is requested within the statutory delinquency notice prior to initiation of legal action for non- payment.
d. The tenant is not under any actual or pending eviction proceeding.
e. There are no carryover balances (in excess of $20.00) from the previous month.
f. The reason for the request for the repayment agreement is valid and is fully substantiated and documented. Valid reasons may include, but are not limited to, hardship situations beyond the tenant's control that temporarily reduce household income or create expenses that must be incurred to allow household income to continue. Examples include, illness that prevents a household member from working; vehicle repairs necessary to enable a household member to continue working; delayed government payments.
The Executive Director may waive one or more of these conditions for good and valid cause.
The maximum duration of any repayment agreement is 12 months. The terms of all BHA repayment contracts shall be as follows:
Balance Due Payment Due
$26-$100 $25 down and $25 per month
$101-$500 25% down and balance within 11 months with minimum payment of $35/month
$501-$1000 25% down and balance within 11 months with minimum payment of $50/month
$1001- 25% down and balance within 11 months with minimum payment of $75/month
The lease shall be considered amended when a “Repayment Agreement” is executed. Such lease amendment shall effect a rent change consistent with the terms of the Repayment Agreement.
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