If you have any questions about these policies, feel free to contact the Steward, Bookeeper, Treasurer or your Chea Board Representative-- HouseOfficers
The Elliot Blanton Memorial Eviction Notice
Here's what the eviction notice says:
NOTICE OF EVICTION
YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED TO VACATE THE PREMISES DESCRIBED IN THE ADDRESS ABOVE WITHIN SEVEN (7) DAYS OF THE DATE OF THE DELIVERY OF THIS NOTICE TO YOU. YOU ARE SUBJECT TO EVICTION FOR NON-PAYMENT OF YOUR PAYMENT PLAN OF [date]. IF YOU FAIL TO VACATE WITHIN THIS PERIOD, COURT PROCEEDINGS WILL BE TAKEN IMMEDIATELY TO EVICT YOU FROM THE PREMISES.
YOU CURRENTLY OWE COMMUNITY HOUSING EXPANSION OF AUSTIN (HENCEFORTH KNOWN as “THE HOUSE”) [$ amount]; IF BEFORE [one week after serving eviction notice] YOU REMIT TO THE HOUSE [$ amount] OR MORE, YOU MAY CONSIDER THIS NOTICE NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
PLEASE DIRECT ANY APPEALS TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
HOUSE DIRECTOR [Steward]
The following is quoted from the HouseRules.
4.1. Eviction: eviction shall be considered the formal removal of a person who is occupying a space, either legally or illegally, in the house.
4.2. Liability: A member who has been evicted remains fully liable for all contractual obligations until they have found a suitable replacement consistent with all rules of CHEA or of the house. The replacement must fill the same room that the person was evicted from. All remaining debt will immediately become due as stated in the contract.
4.3. Enforcement of contract: Persons have the responsibility to report violations of CHEA or house policies to the Steward, who has the responsibility for the implementation of policy in the house. It is the Steward's responsibility to report the complaint\violation to whomever is in violation of the policy and under ultimate threat of eviction. If the violation is not corrected within a reasonable time, or the complaint is of such seriousness that immediate action is required, then the Steward will take necessary actions but will clear these actions with the house ASAP.
4.3.1. The CHEA Board will act as the final authority in contract violation issues.
4.4. Grounds for eviction: Specific grounds for eviction shall be:
4.4.1. Non-payment of rent
4.4.2. Debt owed on a previous contract
4.4.3. Failure to pay CHEA for damages, repairs, and service cost
4.4.4. Member or member's guest violating contract or membership agreement
4.4.5. Violation of any CHEA or house rules or policies
4.4.6. Violation of federal, state, or local laws
4.4.7. Abandonment of premises
4.4.8. Non-performance of house labor
4.4.9. Consistent failure to attend house meetings
4.4.10. Vandalism or damage to house property
4.4.11. Violence to other members, guests, or any other person on the house property
4.4.12. Violation of eligibility requirements that may be set up by the house or CHEA
4.4.13. Providing false information on a membership application
4.4.14. Possession of a firearm or other lethal weapon in the house.
4.5. Eviction Procedures for non-payment of rent: A person is liable for eviction for non-payment of rent if their debt to CHEA exceeds $100 after the 10th day past when rent has come due.
4.5.1. Notification: the Steward will initiate the eviction with a formal notification. This notice will be on the CHEA eviction form, and will be delivered to the person by the Steward or a designated deputy in accordance with the procedures outlined in the membership contract.
4.5.2. No Response: If Payment has not been received, or an agreement between the Treasurer and the respondent has not been made within one week, then the eviction will be taken to court.
4.5.3. Court Action: A court representative will visit the respondent with notice to vacate the premises within 7 days of the presentation.
4.5.4. Appeal: Within that 7 days, the respondent may appeal to the House or a relevant public court.
4.5.5. Removal: If a satisfactory solution has not been agreed to in the 7 days, then CHEA may request the court to force removal of the person from the property.
4.5.6. Respondent Actions: a person receiving an eviction notice may negate the eviction:
18.104.22.168. By paying the debt to within limits for a member in good standing prior to the date on the eviction notice. (No checks or debit cards will be accepted)
22.214.171.124. By appealing to the Treasurer for relief from the full payment at that time. Quorum shall be required for hearing of appeals of various kinds. (passed by house vote 2-8-2015)
126.96.36.199. By paying the amount owed at any time during the eviction process
4.5.7. Court Costs: All court costs are added to the person's debt.
4.6. Criteria for eviction due to non-performance of labor:
4.6.1. 6 no-shows (labor or otherwise) in any 60 day period require that during the next house meeting a date must be set for a Membership Review for inquiry (described below in 4.7.3.). (passed 6/8/14) (updated 5/7/17)
4.6.2. If labor is assigned to a member as punishment for a previous no-show, and that labor is not completed before the next infraction, that member will be liable for eviction.
4.7. Procedures for other types of eviction: Normally, all other types of eviction will be initiated by the house. Since most members are not experts in eviction procedures, it is recommended that the house consult with the board, and possibly outside counsel, for assistance. However, no decision to evict shall be voided or set aside merely because a technicality was omitted, unless it can be proven that substantial justice has been thwarted by the omission. Documentation for eviction must be in house minutes from legally held meetings and such documentation must be in detail sufficient to withstand legal scrutiny. Hearings shall be considered fair and sufficient if:
4.7.1. Notice: 7 days written notice of the time and place of the meeting and the alleged grounds for the action to said member is given to the person and also placed in a generally accepted area where notices are expected to be in the house.
4.7.2. Open Meetings for inquiry and adjudication. Membership review meetings of both types are open to all house members and meet the criteria set by the house for a meeting. (passed by house vote 7/27/2014)
4.7.3. Membership review for inquiry. It is preferable that an initial meeting for inquiry be facilitated more like a mediation than as an adjudication, in that those who have grievances are invited to speak, and the member being reviewed responds—all with the intention to understand the situation from the points of view of all concerned, rather than to render a judgment, per se. In so doing, relevant behaviors of all members involved are open to question, not just the member being reviewed. (passed by house vote 7/27/2014)
4.7.4. Membership review for adjudication. If a meeting such as described in 4.7.3 does not resolve the issues to the satisfaction of all concerned; and/or at least three members call for a member-review-to-evict, adjudicative style meeting facilitation should take place in which witnesses may be called to testify and the person being reviewed has to opportunity to speak in their own defense and call persons to defend their side of the case. (passed by house vote 7/27/2014)
4.7.5. Decision: The membership in attendance will vote for a decision. An abstention is considered a non-vote and will not be included in the total vote. A simple majority vote is required.
4.7.6. Appeal: A person who is evicted through the house process has the right to appeal to the CHEA Board. The Decision of the CHEA Board is final.
4.7.7. Administration: The CHEA Board and Sasona Steward will process any paperwork necessary to enforce the decision.
4.8. Returning to CHEA: persons evicted, or otherwise not selected to remain members for reasons other than non-payment of rent, are considered banned from CHEA property and are not welcome.
4.9. Uncooperative behavior: The following principles are laid out to clarify the boundaries of appropriate conduct within the house. These principles reflect rather than define a belief fundamental to the cooperative... that individuals can live together with mutual respect and tolerance and that those individuals will benefit from sharing their life experiences, both their burdens and their joys.
4.9.1. General: CHEA understands will differ in expectations and values. Working these issues out, or accepting them, is vital to the success of the house as a social unit. However, if the situation cannot be resolved, and the disagreement reaches a point at which the action or inaction of an individual threatens the house, then the house should consider any and all possible solutions, including eviction, to remedy the problem. This section is intended to lay down guidelines for what behaviour is considered uncooperative, although the following list should not be considered exhaustive.
4.9.2. Examples of uncooperative behaviour: This list is neither complete nor absolute; it would be impossible to set down a definitive list of all the problematic behaviour that a member could engage in, but this list should help establish a tone for what the house expects from it's members and their guests.
188.8.131.52. Failure to do work: A: Sign up for and complete required work B: Attend house meetings C: Don't behave in a way that creates work for others D: Work to the best of your ability E: Work properly and in concert with others
184.108.40.206. Abusive or destructive behavior: A: Exhibition of cruel or destructive behavior towards others, whether physical, mental, sexual, or other. Any forms of behavior found to be abusive will not be tolerated. This includes “ad hominem” name calling that attacks the traits of another (e.g., you are a “bully;” you are a “racist”). Instead, try to state a specific behavior of another that needs attention and/or change, and why.) B: Intentionally or accidentally destroying property and not owning up to the house and paying for damages. C: Do not abuse community property. Return tools, dishes and other items to their place when you have finished with them.
220.127.116.11. Privacy: A: Do not enter a member's room without permission B: Don't use a members possessions w/o permission C: Don't touch or invade the body space of a member
18.104.22.168. General Behavior: A: Behavior that denigrates on the basis of race, sex, political belief, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, religion, age, or other personal traits is not acceptable. B: Personal actions that disrupt the right of quiet enjoyment of the house by fellow members is not acceptable. Quiet enjoyment is a legal term which means that a person has the right not to be disturbed or have to put up with unacceptable behavior where they live. C: Behavior that instills fear in people is not acceptable.
22.214.171.124. Members are responsible for the actions of their guests
4.9.3 Refusal of a request for mediation may be brought to the attention of the house mediators, who will as a group gather sufficient information to judge whether the refusal was reasonable and acceptable behavior, with some other form of conflict management to be followed; or unacceptably uncooperative behavior and adequate grounds for membership review.
4.9.4 Escape from behavior that is unwanted: Any member who needs to escape from the behavior of others should be able to do so without recourse from others. If necessary, the “T for time out” sign with two hands should be used to communicate the desire to leave off with no further communication. Failure to respect the “T” sign by another is considered abusive behavior.
4.10. Grievance procedures.
4.10.1. Mediation-oriented grievance procedures (see Mediation FAQ section for more detail): Members should bring their concerns first to the individual(s) involved, then to the Steward or a mediator. Normally, grievances should be settled via mediation; and if that fails, by house review of the situation (e.g., in a membership review).
4.10.2. General grievance procedures: A member may come before the House to request a decision on concern. This could be an accusation of harassment, an eviction for labor, or any act of uncooperative behavior.
4.10.3. The House will hear and deliberate over the complaint.
4.10.4. If a committee is formed to investigate the concern, it should meet at the earliest possible date. This date should be days, not weeks, from when the complaint is brought up by the member.
126.96.36.199. Meetings: The meetings should be held at a neutral location. There may be as many meetings as the committee feel are necessary.
188.8.131.52. Privacy: The meeting should take place in private, but minutes will be kept.
184.108.40.206. Witnesses: All sides involved in the complaint will be able to call witnesses.
4.10.5. Decision: The committee will write the decision and present it to the member. If that is not possible, then the Steward will be given the decision for presentation. The minutes and decision should be given presented to a house meeting for approval and filed with the minutes. The House decision is final.
4.10.6. Appeal: An appeal to the CHEA Board can only be made if it is alleged that the House failed to follow its own procedures in good faith. There is no right of appeal to a decision by the CHEA Board.
7.5. Evictions: A member whose balance exceeds $100 on the 10th of the month is subject to eviction. Once a member has received an eviction notice they have 72 hours to get their balance due below $100, including any fees incurred. If the member fails to make the appropriate payment, CHEA may initiate eviction.
7.10.4. Missing one of the payment plan payments will result in the member being liable for immediate eviction for non- payment of rent.
7.10.6. If a member fails to pay the agreed upon plan, that member may be evicted immediately.
The following is quoted from TheContract.
2. TERM. [...] It is understood by all parties that neither CHEA nor the Resident has any obligation to renew this contract for future terms.
CHEA may terminate the Resident’s right of occupancy for any reason for any of the following:
1. Non payment of rent and other charges
2. A debt owed on a previous contract with CHEA
3. Failure to pay CHEA for damages, repairs and service costs
4. Resident or Resident’s guest violating lease, contract, membership agreement, and CHEA or house rules or policies or federal/state/local laws.
5. Abandonment of premises
6. Non-performance of house labor or failure to attend house meetings
7. Vandalism/damages to CHEA property
8. Violence to other residents, guests or any other persons on CHEA property
9. Violation of eligibility requirements set by CHEA
10. Providing false information on membership application
CHEA may terminate Resident’s right of occupancy by giving Residents three days written notice to vacate CHEA property. Notice may be given by any of the following methods:
1. regular Mail,
2. certified mail, return receipt requested,
3. personal delivery to Resident,
4. personal delivery to the Resident’s room, or
5. affixing the notice to the Resident’s room door
Such termination does release Resident from liability for future rental occurring during the term of this contract. After CHEA gives notice to vacate, or after CHEA files eviction suit, CHEA may still accept rent or other sums due, ands such notice, filing, or acceptance will not waive or diminish CHEA’s right of eviction or any other contractual or statutory right. Acceptance of monies at any time will not waive CHEA’s right of property damages, past or future rent, or other sums due. CHEA may report unpaid amounts to credit agencies for recordation in Resident’s credit record.
Attempt to clarify eviction policies
The following is an attempt at a recap of the eviction procedures for non-payment of rent, with sources cited, written by Parker (Treasurer, Feb. 2008). It has not been voted on by the house, and it is intended as an attempt to make sense of all these policies.
1. If a member is late on a payment plan payment [House Rules 9.10.4], the Treasurer will alert the Steward, and the Steward will deliver the Elliot Blanton Memorial Eviction Notice [House Rules 4.3; Treasurer and Steward Labor Descriptions]. The notice will be discreetly folded and taped to the member's door in such a way to ensure privacy [The Contract, 14.b.5]. An eviction notice does not mean that the member definitely will be evicted; it is just the beginning of a process that may or may not result in eviction.
2. If the member is able to become current on their payments (if they are on a payment plan) or if they get on a payment plan (if they were not on one yet), then the eviction will be called off by the Board [House Rules 220.127.116.11]. However, if the member does not become current on payments and does not return to good standing, the eviction process will continue.
3. The member has a right to appeal the eviction at a board meeting within 7 days of receiving the eviction notice [House Rules 18.104.22.168; Elliot Blanton Memorial Eviction Notice; House Rules 4.5.2 -- actually says reach agreement with Treasurer, but we typically hold board meetings to decide]. If the member does not ask for an appeal, eviction procedures will continue. If the member does ask for an appeal, the Board can vote to appeal the eviction if there are extenuating circumstances (for example, the member will be able to pay soon) [House Rules 22.214.171.124]. The Board should act objectively and dispassionately in the house's best interests [House Rules 4.3.2]. If the Board votes to allow the eviction to be appealed, then the eviction is called off. If not, the eviction process will continue. Quorum shall be required for hearing of appeals of various kinds. (passed by house vote 2-8-2015)
4. The member can negate the eviction at any time by paying the debt to within limits for a member in good standing [House Rules 126.96.36.199].
4.3. Enforcement of contract: ... It is the house director's responsibility to report the complaint\violation to whomever is in violation of the policy and under ultimate threat of eviction. ...
4.3.2. BOD Action: The Board will act as the final authority in contract violation issues. Members may always bring their concerns to the board, however, the board must act first in the interests of CHEA when making decisions.
4.5.2. No Response: If Payment has not been received, or an agreement between the CFO [Chief Financial Officer = Treasurer] and the respondent has not been made within one week, then the eviction will be taken to court.
4.5.6. Respondent Actions: a person receiving an eviction notice may negate the eviction:
- 188.8.131.52. By appealing to the BOD [Board of Directors] or CFO [Chief Financial Officer = Treasurer] for relief from the full payment at that time.
9.10.4. Missing one of the payment plan payments will result in the member being liable for immediate eviction for non-payment of rent.
14.b. CHEA may terminate Resident’s right of occupancy by giving Residents three days written notice to vacate CHEA property. Notice may be given by any of the following methods: ... 5. affixing the notice to the Resident’s room door.
http://www.constable5.com/info/contactus.shtml -- the helpful folks at the Constable's office will be happy to answer your questions.