Rent Payment Policies
(The following is just a recap and has not been voted on.)
1. Make checks/money orders out to "CHEA" (it stands for Community Housing Expansion of Austin).
2. You cannot pay with cash, ever (house vote, Treasurer labor description).
3. If you pay with a money order, write your name on it so we know who it's from (common sense advice).
4. Also, when paying with money order, KEEP YOUR RECEIPT. If the money order does not end up being deposited for some reason, you will not be able to get your money back unless you have a receipt (common sense advice).
5. Rent is due on the 1st of the month. The last day to pay is the 3rd. If you owe more than $100 after the 3rd, you will be charged a $25 late fee. (See Section 6 of TheContract.) Associate members will be charged less (see Associate Member Rent Payment Policies below). (date changed 3/30/14)
6. If you owe more than $100 after the 10th of the month, you will be charged another $25 late fee. If you are not on a payment plan before the 10th of the month, and you owe more than $100, you will receive an eviction notice from the Steward (house vote, House Rules). If while under a payment plan, you fail to make a scheduled payment -- including your regular rent payment -- you will receive an eviction notice from the Steward (house vote, Payment Plan Policies, see PaymentPlans). (date changed 3/30/14)
7. If you receive an eviction notice, that does not mean that you are necessarily going to be evicted. If you can pay back the money you owe and get back on track for your payment plan, you will return to good standing (House Rules). If you can't pay, you can contact the board ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) to request an appeal to the eviction. Paying back the money you owe is the best way to appeal an eviction, but the board might grant the appeal if there are extenuating circumstances.
8. If your check bounces your first late fee will be $35 (a $10 increase over the standard $25). If you bounce 2 checks in a 6 month period, you may be barred from using checks/debit for the remainder of your contract. (fee altered by two passed votes on 2/21/2016)
--This is just a brief recap written by the Treasurer (as of January 2011), and while effort has been made to describe the house policies accurately, the wording above has not been voted on by the house. To understand the binding house policies, read the house votes, HouseRules, and information from TheContract below.
Members owing more than $100 must talk to the Treasurer and get on a payment plan before the 10th. If a payment plan is not in place before the 10th of the month, the member will be given an eviction notice. (Voted on 4/13/08.) (date changed 3/30/14)
Late fees are increased to a $25 fee after the 3rd, another $25 after the 10th. (Voted on by the house, 9/13/09.) (dates changed 3/30/14) (Changed again 6/15/16 by 16-0-1)
Associate Member Rent Payment Policies
1. Associate members are allowed to owe up to $20 without penalty.
2. Associate members receive $5 late fees for owing more than $20 after the 3rd and 10th of the month. Associates owing more than $20 after the 15th will receive a termination notice. House policies can be followed to appeal the termination or pay off the balance in order to negate the termination.
3. Associate members must pay a deposit of one month's payment. (From the House Rules 3.4.2.C: "Contracts shall have a deposit of one month's payment.")
4. Associate members may not get on a payment plan.
(House vote, 12-11-11.) (dates changed 3-30-14)
Payment Plan Policies
1. General: Members are expected to pay all rent and charges on time, however, it is understood that members may sometimes be unable to meet their commitment in a timely manner and may need a payment plan. Members owing more than $100 must talk to the Treasurer and get on a payment plan before the 10th. If a payment plan is not in place before the 10th of the month, the member will be given an eviction notice. The payment plan should list what amount of money will be paid on what date(s).
2. Transparency: The Treasurer will email approved payment plans to the house.
3. Payment deadline: Payment plans must end no less than 6 weeks before the end of the member's contract.
4. Payment plan amount: The Treasurer and the Board may not set up a payment plan to pay off a debt larger than the deposit. Only the house can approve a payment plan for a debt larger than the deposit. If a member wants a payment plan for more than the amount of the deposit, they must request it at a house meeting, and in order to be valid it must be approved by a house vote (according to the current voting majority).
5. Payment plan fees: One $50 payment plan fee will be assessed each time a member gets on a payment plan. Late fees will not accrue during the payment plan. The payment plan fee will be waived, if the payment plan process is completed before the 1st of the month. [Fee waiver passed on 2022-7-17].
6. Eviction: Missing one of the payment plan payments will result in the member being liable for immediate eviction for non-payment of rent. The Steward shall deliver an eviction notice immediately if any payment is late, including normal monthly rent payment. If a member fails to pay the agreed upon plan, that member may be evicted immediately.
(Voted on by the House, 10-11-09)
Alternate: "Social Capital" Plan
- Outside of payment plans, we allow members a one-month grace period to get caught up on all money owed to the House by guaranteeing the amount owed from individual’s deposits. If the person in debt makes good on their obligations, no money changes hands. If the person in debt does not make good on their obligations, the money comes from pledged individuals’ deposits-- those individuals then have 3-months to replenish their deposits.
(Passed on 2/19/2017 by 11-0-1)
1.3. A member in bad standing is a person who:
- 1.3.1. Has a debt exceeding $100 past the 10th day after the date due and does not have a payment plan arranged with CHEA.
- 1.3.4. Has left CHEA and owes money to CHEA.
7. Payment of Rent:
7.1. General: All basic costs associated with living in the house are inclusive. Other potential costs not covered may include individual phones, TV service, and fees or fines such as labor fines, parking fees, office equipment fees, etc.
7.2. Date Due: Rent is due on the first of the month, or on the first day of the contract.
7.3. Late payment penalties: Rent is late as of midnight on the 3rd day after rent is due, and a $25 late fee will be assessed if the member does not pay in full. A second $25 late fee will be changed at midnight of the 10th day if the member does not pay to within $100 of the full due amount.
7.4. Deposits: All member deposits will be placed into a central account.
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.
7.6. Membership Fee: a one-time, non-refundable $50 membership fee will be charged to new members of CHEA. As of May 28, 2002, that fee will be divided as follows:
- 7.6.1. North American Students of Cooperation dues: $20
- 7.6.2. Capital Improvement Fund: $20
- 7.6.3. Educational Events: $5
- 7.6.4. Emergency fund: $5
7.7. Deposit: A $500 security deposit is required when a person signs their residential contract. As long as that person resides at the house, the deposit will be held in CHEA funds. When a person leaves CHEA, a check-out form must be filled out and given to either the Board Chair or the CFO of CHEA. No refund is paid without this form.
7.8. Texas Law: You cannot use your deposit for rent. Please don't ask.
7.9. Pet Deposit: The House membership will set its own pet deposit amount. In no case will the deposit amount be less $100 per pet. $50 is non-refundable, as it goes to pest control when the pet leaves. The pet owner is also responsible for any damage done to carpet, rugs, walls, furniture, smell, etc. above and beyond what is normally expected to put the room back into its pre-pet condition. This means a pet owner can be charged additional costs if needed.
7.10. PaymentPlans: Members are expected to pay all rent and charges on time, however, it is understood that members may sometimes be unable to meet their commitment in a timely manner and may need a pay plan. The following criteria outline CHEA policy:
- 7.10.1. Pay plan requests must be on the proper form and submitted to the CFO for approval. The request will be placed in the member's folder once approval is received.
- 7.10.2. There may be only one plan per 4 months per person, that plan may not extend pas the agreed upon payoff date.
7.10.3. Late fees will not accrue during the payment plan, however, the house may set a pay plan fee as seen fit to be included in the payment schedule.
7.10.4. Missing one of the payment plan payments will result in the member being liable for immediate eviction for nonpayment of rent.
- 7.10.5. Payments made during the plan may not be made with a credit or a debit card, but only with check, or money order.
- 7.10.6. If a member fails to pay the agreed upon plan, that member may be evicted immediately.
7.11. Bounced Check Policy: If a member bounces a check, CHE will process it a second time. If the check is still not good, a $25 fee will be assessed. If the member bounces 2 checks in a six month period, that member may be barred from using checks/debit for the remainder of their contract.
7.12. Outstanding debt: the maximum amount that a member may carry over from month to month is $100.
6. LATE PAYMENT. The rent must be paid by the due date. Rent is delinquent after the due date and will authorize CHEA use of all remedies of this contract. If all rent is not paid by the third day of the month, a $25 late fee will be assessed. If the resident has an outstanding balance of more than $100 on the tenth of the month, another $25 late fee will be charged. Resident agrees to pay $25 for each returned check, plus late payment charges outlined until acceptable payment is received by CHEA. All late charges are considered liquidated damages for CHEA time, inconvenience, and overhead in collecting late rent. Attorney’s fees and any litigation costs are separate from and above the late charges. Payment of rent is an independent covenant. CHEA, at its own option, and without notice, may apply payments first to non-rent obligations of resident, then to rent, regardless of notations, and regardless of when the obligations arose.