ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENT COUNCIL, INC.
HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER
P. O. Box 549, Edenton, N.C. 27932
Equal Opportunity Employer Equal Opportunity Housing
Welcome to the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program. The information you receive today has been prepared for you as a guide to participation in this Section 8 Rental Assistance program. It is designed to provide you with accurate information about how our program works. Please take time to read this carefully, and keep it in a place where you can refer to it often should you have questions regarding your assistance.
The Economic Improvement Council, Inc. operates this H.U.D. Section 8 Rental program from two offices. The main administrative office is located at 712 Virginia Road, Edenton, N.C. Phone 252- 482-4458. This office is the central hub where your file is maintained, payments are made, etc. We also have a satellite office located at 104 West Ehringhaus St. Elizabeth City, N.C., phone 335-5493. As a public service agency, we are committed to providing excellent service and accurate information to inform you of the program rules, and advise you of how these rules affect you.
The rules and regulations for this program are determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The purpose of this program is to provide rental assistance to low income families in homes that are decent, safe, and sanitary. Families admitted to the Section 8 Rental program must meet income guidelines as published by the Dept. of HUD. The home must also meet Housing Quality Standards guidelines and be rent reasonable to be considered eligible assisted housing.
If you live in, applied for, or plan to use your assistance in Chowan, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Tyrrell or Washington County your Occupancy Specialist and Inspector are located in the EDENTON (252-482-4458) the name of your Occupancy Specialist will also be given to you today. This office is located at 712 Virginia Road, Edenton NC 27932. Hours for this office are Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
If you live in, applied for, or plan to use your assistance in Perquimans, Pasquotank, Camden, or Currituck County your Occupancy Specialist, and Inspector are located in the ELIZABETH CITY (252-335-5493). The name of your Occupancy Specialist will also be given to you today. This office is located at 104 West Ehringhaus Street, Elizabeth City NC 27909. Hours for this office are Monday – Thursday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm; closed to the public on Friday.
You will find the following information in this booklet or in your family packet given to you at this tenant briefing:
Request for Tenancy Approval Packet
Tenancy Lease Addendum
Housing Discrimination / Fair Housing Information
Dangers of Lead Paint, & Disclosure form
A Good Place to Live Booklet
HUD 1141 Applying for HUD Housing Assistance
HUD 52675 Debts Owed to PHA
HUD 92006 Supplement to Application
RHIP-What You Should Know About EIV
It is very important that you make certain we have your correct mailing address and telephone numbers. When necessary, we will contact you by first class mail or telephone in advance, of any appointments. E-mails may also be sent in addition to the written appointment and the telephone appointment. You must make certain you keep all appointments made either at our offices or in your home. Due to the large area we cover, current fuel prices, and program efficiency we do not make repeat home / office appointments. Failure to keep appointments will result in termination of program benefits.
Any time there is a change in your subsidy benefits from this office, a notice will be mailed to both you and the landlord. You may need these letters for the Department of Social Services or other programs. Keep all letters and documents mailed to you from our office. A fee of $1.00 per page may be charged for additional copies of letters already provided to you. A processing time of 24-48 hours can be expected for duplicate copies.
PUT IT IN WRITING!
When you have ANY information you need to tell us such as change in income, (both up & down) change in household members, mailing address change, repair problems, complaints, etc., we require that you put it in writing and send it to us at:
Economic Improvement Council, Inc.
P.O. Box 549
Edenton, N.C. 27932
FAX 252-482-2326 or 252-335-4631
REQUESTS FOR ACCOMMODATIONS
Persons with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation in order to fully utilize this housing program and related services. We will make all reasonable efforts to be flexible in assisting you. We may require that you verify your need to ensure your request is valid. This includes services such as TDD or TDY Device access, home visits, and use of an advocate or interpreter. A form is included in this handbook to notify us of your request if your situation changes. You may submit your request for a reasonable accommodation orally and in writing at any time.
OUR JOB AS YOUR HOUSING AGENCY
The Section 8 program operates as a 3-way partnership with the family, the owner/landlord, and us. In order for the program to work, we must do the following:
Approve the rental residence, owner, and lease
Make housing assistance payment to the owner in a timely manner
Make sure both the family and rental unit continue to qualify for assistance
Ensure that families and owners comply with the program rules
YOUR JOB AS A PARTICIPATING FAMILY
As a program participant, your job is to do the following:
Give complete and accurate information about all household members and income
Cooperate with us in keeping all appointments
Take good care of your rental home, both inside and out (yard)
Abide by all the terms of the lease with the owner
Abide by all of the Family Obligations as outlined on your Voucher and this family handbook
Never participate in any criminal or drug activity (on or off the assisted premises)
Make certain you contact us in writing within ten (10) days if you have any change in income, family members, or uncorrected repair problems with your home. Interim changes will be made in the amount of assistance based on information reported and verified. Thoroughly read the Housing Voucher Family Obligations. Should you have any questions please make sure to ask.
THE OWNER’S JOB
The owner/landlord of your rental unit also has obligations for the program to work successfully. The owner must:
Screen families who apply to determine if they are good renters, without
Discriminating against any family in accordance with fair housing laws.
Maintain the housing unit by making necessary repairs in a timely manner.
(Tenant can be charged for damages/repairs beyond normal wear and tear)
Comply with the terms of the Housing Assistance Contract with our agency.
Enforce the lease and collect the rent due from the family.
The Owner of the rental unit may not be the parent, step parent, grandparent, grand child, sister or brother of any member of the participating family unless the HA has determined that approving rental of the unit would provide reasonable accommodation for a family member who is a person with disabilities. For this special accommodation, you must contact Teresa L. Forward, Housing Director.
It is the policy of this agency to provide the prospective landlord the family’s current address and the name and address of the current landlord if requested. We may also inform the prospective landlord of the tenant’s history if asked.
YOUR HOUSING VOUCHER
The Housing Voucher you received will entitle you look for a rental home, (house, mobile home, apartment) that will meet our Housing Quality Standards, is Rent Reasonable. The owner must be willing to participate in this program. This Voucher is good for a maximum period of one hundred and twenty (120) days. You must find a rental unit within this time period. If you are unable to find a rental unit within this period, your voucher will expire. During the term of the voucher, you may be required to have all family income re-verified if you do not find a home within the initial 60 days of your voucher term. This is necessary to insure you have selected a home within an affordable amount for your family.
If you were unable to find housing and your voucher expires, you will need to reapply when we are accepting applications. The “timing” of your 120 days stops on the day you submit your Request for Lease Approval packet to our office.
VOUCHER CERTIFICATE SIZE / SUBSIDY STANDARD
The subsidy standard or “number of bedrooms” you are eligible for is determined by the number of persons in your household. The subsidy policy of EIC, Inc. is 2 persons per bedroom, regardless of age or sex. This does not mean you are required to sleep this way, it just determines the level of subsidy you will receive. You may select a home of any size providing overcrowding will not occur. If you select a home that is to large, you may be considered “over housed”.
Exceptions may also be given to adults and children if there are health reasons that require a person to be in a bedroom alone or need space for medical equipment. Exceptions may also available for approved full time medical live-in attendants. These needs must be verified by a physician, therapist, or social worker. Contact our office for forms to obtain a waiver to this policy.
COMPUTATION OF YOUR SUBSIDY PAYMENTS
The formula for determining the amount of your rental subsidy will be calculated as follows:
Maximum subsidy is the lower of payment standard minus the Total Tenant Payment or Gross Rent minus Total Tenant Payment. TTP is the highest of either 30% of your monthly-adjusted income, 10% of monthly income, or the PHA minimum rent $50.00. In most cases, the 30% of the adjusted monthly income is used. Regulations do not permit a family to pay more than 40% of monthly income for rent and estimated utilities. Gross Rent refers to the Contract Rent amount plus HUD estimated utility costs.
We have calculated estimates of these amounts for you. You can find them with the information provided at the tenant briefing. A letter is attached to your housing voucher giving you the estimated maximum amount of subsidy, along with your estimated contract rent target. More exact information can be given when you select a residence and determine what utility services will be paid by you and what will be included in your rent. If you income goes up or down during the time of your housing search, these estimates will also change.
SELECTION OF A RENTAL UNIT & ELIGIBLE HOUSING
Families are free to choose the home they want to live in, provided it meets program Housing Quality Standards, is rent is reasonable, and the owner will participate in the program. You may select to live in houses, apartments, duplex units, or mobile homes.
The home must be inspected and meet the HUD Housing Quality Standards initially and re-inspected yearly.
A summary of housing quality standards is included in your Request for Tenancy Approval Packet.
Consider the size of the home, condition, cost of any tenant paid utilities, proximity to schools, stores, etc. If the home has a yard, you must consider yard maintenance unless it is included in the lease.
Families with members who may have impairments should consider this in their selection. You or your medical professional can determine what is acceptable and will meet your specific needs.
Housing must also be incompliance with current LEAD PAINT HAZARD REGULATIONS for targeted housing. If you have children age 6 and under, and the home was built prior to 1978 closely review the the pamphlet Dangers of Lead Paint Booklet & Good Place to Live. If the home shows evidence of chipping and flaking paint, (inside or out, including outbuildings) we will not be able to approve the home unless the owner has a obtained a lead hazard certification for the residence.
EXPANDING YOUR HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES
When seeking a rental home, we encourage renting outside of poverty and crime areas. Doing this may provide better schools for your family and often less exposure to crime, drug traffic, etc. The internet can provide an abundance of information regarding the county you have selected to live in. Availability of local resources such as public transportation, school districts, libraries, museums, crime statistics, places of employment, and other choices you may wish to consider can often be found on the internet. Most counties also maintain county information on utility suppliers, employment statistics, etc. Refer to the maps of your county on the internet and those provided by this office.
AVAILABLE RENTAL UNITS
A listing of landlords and possible available homes has been provided as part of the tenant briefing. These homes have not been “pre-approved”, only listed. Other sources for rental units are newspapers, internet rental listings, word of mouth, local bulletin boards, and local realtors. If you are disabled and need accessible units, please let us know. At present we have only a small number of listings or landlords with handicapped accessible rentals.
FAIR MARKET RENTS, PAYMENT STANDARDS, & UTILITY ALLOWANCES
This agency covers a 10 county area. Each of these areas has a different FAIR MARKET RENT (FMR). The FAIR MARKET RENTS are rents published by HUD Annually by bedroom size for individual areas. The FMR is intended to represent rents for modest, decent, affordable housing and includes estimated costs of utilities with conservative usage. The PAYMENT STANDARD is a percentage of the FMR. Your payment standard is based on your family composition, size unit you select, and county. The payment standard applied to each family will be either the lesser of the unit size or your voucher size.
The UTILITY ALLOWANCES are estimated rates/costs based on local surveys from utility providers. The rate used is based on the lower of the actual number of bedrooms in the home or your housing voucher size. We have used the average utilities costs for your county & bedroom size in computing your estimate today. These utility allowance charts are available to you here in our office.
APPROVAL OF TENANCY
OUR PAYMENT/YOUR PAYMENT
To determine a more exact subsidy payment, we will need to know the contract rent price and all utilities paid by the tenant and those provided by the owner and included in the rent. This will be done when we receive your Request for Tenancy Approval packet back from the owner of the home you have selected. This packet was reviewed with you today and is an essential element in your successful leasing of a home. After it is received, all the data for this home and your factors will be computed. An updated subsidy estimate will be given to you and your landlord in the appointment letter for inspection. It is important to remember, this is only an estimate- if your income or family size has changed, or the actual utilities for the home are different than what is indicated on the RFTA, the payment will change.
INITIAL RENT PAYMENT
It is also important to remember payment will not begin until your home has passed inspection and a contract is executed by our agency. Contracts and subsidy payments to your landlord begin on the first day of the month after the home passes inspection. The first check to your landlord usually is received within 30 days. See example below:
House passes inspection Sept. 15th- Contract and assistance will begin October 1st. Your landlord may require you to pay the rent until our check is received if you have taken occupancy. Thereafter, they will usually receive payment by the 5th day of each month. We do not pay security deposits, or retroactive subsidy payments.
RENT RECEIPTS & LATE FEES
Always obtain and keep your rent receipts, money orders, or copies of your check for any funds you pay to the owner. Make certain you keep them where they may be found later, if needed. Never give your landlord or the agent for the landlord, any cash money without getting a receipt.
The owner has a right to charge you a late fee in accordance with your lease. Under North Carolina law the late fee is 5% of the tenant portion of rent or $15.00 whichever is highest.
HUD regulations require a lease between the owner and the tenant. The lease must be consistent with State law. The provisions of the lease must include all the provisions of the tenancy addendum required by HUD. The owner may use his own lease, or the sample lease enclosed in your Request for Tenancy Approval packet. The HUD tenancy addendum will be attached to the lease to conform it to HUD regulations and the term of the contract. A copy of the lease must be sent to our office. The tenant is responsible for reviewing and abiding by the terms of the lease.
INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY
The Section 8 Housing Program will cancel all office appointments, inspections, tenant briefings, etc. in the event of severe or expected severe inclement weather (snow, ice, hurricane, flooding, etc.) If school is closed in the county where you live due to severe weather, your appointment will be rescheduled. Call 252-482-4458 ext. 111 if you are unsure. Local TV stations may also carry closings.
You and your family must also be recertified annually for continued participation in this program. You will receive one (1) office appointment. You must attend the appointment and bring all the information requested at the time of the appointment. You will be asked for updates on your income and family composition. Be prepared to provide your income information such as wages, child support, regular donations, retirement, disability, etc. at the time of the appointment. Financial aid information may also be required for full time college students. Persons who requested a reasonable accommodation may expect to provide proof of this need annually. If you fail to attend your annual recertification appointment your assistance will end or terminate.
HUD requires our program to inspect your home at least once every 365 days (yearly). We normally schedule your inspection about every 11 months. You will receive one (1) appointment letter for inspection at the last given mailing address. Exact appointment times cannot be given due to the large geographical area we cover. Your home must pass inspection for assistance to continue.
You, your landlord, or other adult must be present at the time of inspection. We are not permitted to enter the home if an adult is not present. All utilities must be operable and the home must have a stove, refrigerator, and a working permanent heating system capable of heating the entire home. If the system requires fuel, such as oil or gas, the system must be operable at the time of inspection. Review the “Summary of Housing Quality Standards”, the booklet “A Good Place to Live”, and the housekeeping checklist prior to the inspection and selection of your rental home. If you fail to be present for the inspection appointment, your assistance will end or terminate. If you home needs repairs, the owner will be give around 30 days to make most repairs. If repairs are not made, the assistance will end. If the owner determines the repairs are due to excess wear and tear by the family, you may be billed by the owner for the cost of the repairs.
REPORTING REPAIRS AFTER ASSISTANCE HAS BEGUN
If you have items that need to be repaired you should notify the owner both verbally and in writing. Allow an adequate amount of time for the owner to make the repairs. If owner does not respond to your request, contact our Housing Inspector or Appointment Secretary. An inspection will be scheduled. If deficiencies are identified, the owner will be given up to 30 days to make most repairs. Life threatening problems must be corrected within 24 hours. Never hold back reporting problems with the home to our office. The owner is signing an agreement with this agency to maintain your home at HUD’s standards.
You must maintain your home in a clean and decent condition both inside and out. A housekeeping checklist may be sent to you with your inspection appointment letters. Make certain you complete all the items on the checklist prior to inspection. Failure to maintain your home and yard in a clean and decent condition may result in termination of your assistance.
Regulations require your utility services (electric, water, & heating systems) remain active at all times. Should your utility service be suspended for non-payment, a maximum of ten (10) days will be allowed for services to be restored. If services are not restored within this period, assistance will be terminated.
If your home has a fuel burning heat system, you must purchase heating fuel. Portable electric heaters do not substitute for a heating system in a home. They are only approvable as a temporary supplement. Never burn or use any type of unvented gas or kerosene heater in the home.
Refer to your lease to determine if the owner will allow you to have pets. It is a good idea to obtain written permission stating the number of pets you may have and if the pets are inside or outside pets. Some owners may charge a “pet security deposit” that may or may not be refundable. If you are unsure, always ask the owner and refer to your lease. Local laws and ordinances apply. Your pets, in particular DOGS, MUST be caged, leased, or secured during any of our home visits or inspections.
OCCUPANCY OF THE HOME
Once your assistance has begun, you should occupy the home on a full time basis. If you are going to be away or gone temporarily (more than 14 days) we must be notified in writing. Only persons listed on your lease and application with this office are approved to occupy your home. Guests are permitted no more than 14 days per calendar year without written approval from this office. Guests or visitors who are at your home more than 50% of any night or day on a regular basis may be considered unauthorized occupants of your home.
ADDING AND REMOVING HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS
Permission must be obtained from both your landlord and this office before allowing others to occupy your home with the exception of children added by birth or court appointment. Notify this office in writing when you wish to add someone to your household. An appointment letter will be sent to you and will include all the information needed to add household members. Do not allow persons to move in until you have obtained permission from this office.
When a person vacates your home and they will no longer be living with you report it to our office in writing within 10 days.
If you are unsure if the absence will be temporary or permanent, contact your Occupancy Specialist in writing for an assessment of the situation.
Income as defined by this agency includes wages, unemployment benefits, retirement benefits, disability benefits, worker’s compensation, regular cash contributions to the family, regular non-cash contributions for the support of the family, child support (direct & court ordered), income from odd jobs, income from self-employment, bartering for services in lieu of payment, etc. When changes in income occur (UP OR DOWN), report it to our office in writing within ten (10) days. When income increases, you will be given at least 30 day notice before the income change will take effect. When income decreases, the change will take place on the first day of the upcoming month verification of such decrease was submitted.
COLLECTION OF OVERPAYMENTS
When income increases and there is no written documentation to show the family has properly reported the increase, this may be considered fraud. When income is unreported, a retroactive change will be performed to redetermine the correct level of subsidy that should have been paid on your behalf. Any overpayments must be repaid to the housing agency as outlined in the HUD Debts Owed to the Public Housing Agencies and Terminations HUD 52675. The debt can be repaid in full or you may be allowed to make installment payments through execution of a repayment plan.
HUD UIV/EIV SYSTEM
HUD utilizes the Upfront Income Verification System and the Enterprise Income Verification System. A brochure has been provided with this handbook to give more information about this system. It is important to remember the occupants of your home should be the same as reported to the Department of Social Services, School records, State / Federal Tax Records, or records of any other state and federal entities. Your income should also be consistent with income reported to these agencies as well.
Cross checks of your family and income reported occur. Records for all programs should be consistent. For example if your housing application contains 1 adult and 2 children, your food stamp case should also contain the same persons. If there are other persons listed or persons omitted, these are considered as possible fraud indicators.
REPORTING REPAIRS AFTER ASSISTANCE HAS BEGUN
If you have items that need to be repaired you should notify the owner both verbally and in writing. Send a copy to our office. Allow an adequate time for repairs to be completed. If owner does not respond to your repair request after proper notification, then you should notify your Housing Inspector or Appointment Secretary. They will schedule an inspection by our inspector and notice will be sent from our office regarding needed repairs. The owner will be given up to 30 days to make most repairs. Life threatening problems must be corrected within 24 hours. Never hold back reporting problems with the home to our office. The owner is signing an agreement with this agency to maintain your home at HUD’s standards.
PROHIBITION AGAINST VIOLENT, CRIMINAL, DRUG, OR FELONY ACTIVITY
Participation in any violent criminal activity, drug activity, or felony criminal activity is prohibited by any member of the assisted household or guests at the assisted home while a participant in this HUD HCV program. Violations will result in termination and denial of rental assistance for a period of three (3) years. Denial will include all household members. Sex offender violations result in lifetime denials.
Participants (all household members), or guests at the residence must not engage in abuse of alcohol in any way that threatens the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of other residents and residents residing nearby. Local police reports, complaints, etc. will be considered when determining if participants have engaged is such abuse. Alcohol related crimes resulting in felony convictions considered just as any other felony criminal charges. Violations will result in termination and denial of rental assistance for a period of three (3) years.
RELOCATING OR MOVING TO ANOTHER UNIT AFTER ASSISTANCE BEGINS
The contract and lease you are signing is for a 12 month period. Moving within this 12 month period is not permitted unless the unit falls below Housing Quality Standards and the owner does not make repairs. It is the policy of this Section 8 Rental Assistance program to permit 2 moves without cause while being assisted under this program. Moving without following the procedure as outlined by this agency will result in automatic termination and denial of assistance for a period of (3) three years.
You must give our office a 30 day written notice of your intent to vacate. All moves with continued assistance to another rental unit must be approved before you move. In addition we require you be in “good standing” with your present landlord-(no outstanding rent balance, damage fees, etc.) Moving without notice is a program and contract violation and may result in denial of future assistance. Submit a written request to your Occupancy Specialist and wait for approval.
Portability is a term used to describe a family’s ability to move from one housing authority to another. The voucher program regulations mandate national portability. Families are limited to moves into areas where a housing authority or administering housing agency operate a tenant based voucher program. In accordance with 24CFR-982-353© the family must stay with the initial housing authority for the first 12 months only if the family was not residing in that housing authority’s jurisdiction for a 12 month period when they applied for housing. Legal proof of the 12 month residency will be required. If you wish to exercise your portability rights, you must first contact our office in writing. You will be required to provide other documents before final approval of your “port out” is approved. Attached you will find a listing of NC & VA Section 8 programs. For other areas the internet is also a good source. Visit www.hud.gov or google HUD section 8 programs in the state or city where you want to port to.
LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY
Families with limited English proficiency may request documents in the language they read or speak. If available, they will be provided. If you need an interpreter, you may bring your own representative or we may be able to provide one.
DENIAL OR TERMINATION OF ASSISTANCE
Your assistance may be terminated for any violation of the family obligations as outlined under your housing voucher, agency policy, and/or serious violations of your lease. Assistance ends automatically if you move out of the unit without proper notice. Violations of the program may result in denial of future assistance for a period of three (3) years.
GRIEVENCES AND PROBLEM RESOLUTION
While participating in this program, should you experience any problems or have a grievance with our staff, or actions by our office, please contact our Housing Director at 252-482-4458 ext. 111 or in writing at PO Box 549, Edenton N.C. 27932. Our goal is to resolve the problem in accordance with HUD regulations.
INFORMAL HEARING POLICY
Informal hearings for participants are given when requested by tenant regarding determinations made by this agency in accordance with HUD regulations and our agency administrative plan. Hearings may be granted for:
- Determinations of Family’s share of the rent
- Denial or Termination of the HAP Contract which are not for mandatory reasons
- Decision of unit size appropriate for family
- A PHA decision regarding your household
PROCEDURE FOR HEARING
Fair housing is your right. If you have been denied your housing rights, you may have experienced unlawful discrimination. Contact our office for information and forms. You may also visit the HUD website at www.hud.gov/fairhousing.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN’S ACT (VAWA)
The Violence against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) prohibits denial of assistance to an otherwise qualified applicant on the basis that the applicant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. 24 CFR 5.2011 . VAWA does not take precedence over any provision of federal, state, or local law that provides greater protection to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. If you are a victim of domestic violence please use the enclosed HUD form 50066 to report this problem. You may also be referred to any local services that may assist you. Forms and VAWA policies may be updated as regulated.
In review, these are the basic steps to begin receiving Section 8 Rental Assistance:
Attend Briefing, Receive Housing Choice Voucher.
Find a decent, reasonably priced home within your affordability range that will meet the HUD Standards
Have the owner complete and submit the Request for Lease Approval Document Package
Home will be inspected and reviewed for Rent Reasonableness
Home Passes Inspection
HAP Contract and Lease are executed.
Housing Assistance Payments Begin, (usually 1st day of month after the home passes inspection).
Family and Owner abide by the terms of the contract, lease, and contract obligations.
Call us at 252-482-4458 (Edenton) or 252-335-5493 (Elizabeth City).
Send written reports to:
P.O. Box 549
Edenton NC 27932
Fax 252-482-2326 or 252-335-4631
NC STATUES REGARDING LATE FEES, EVICTIONS, & SECURITY DEPOSITS
(Refer to Statues for updates and most current regulations)
LATE FEES: If any rental payment is five days or more late, a landlord can assess a residential tenant a late fee which does not exceed fifteen dollars ($15.00) or five per cent (5%) of the rental payment, whichever is greater. Read your lease carefully to determine the due date of your rent. (NCGS ¤42-46)
- A residential landlord in North Carolina may not legally evict a tenant from the rented premises unless he/she first obtains an order or "writ of possession" from a court. A residential landlord may not use "self-help" such as locking tenants out or turning off utilities in lieu of a Summary Ejectment proceeding. If a landlord threatens you with eviction or if you receive court papers, you should seek legal assistance.
- Grounds for Eviction:
o Non-payment of Rent
o Breach of the Lease (i.e. illegal pets, noise, excessive damage or alteration to the premises, illegal activity etc.)
o Holding over after the lease term has ended
o Desertion of the premises
o Eviction for criminal activity
- A tenant cannot be evicted for pursuing their rights under the lease or for complaining to the Landlord, the city or other government entities about needed repairs or hazards. This is retaliatory eviction. If this occurs, you should seek legal assistance.
- If the Landlord commits a material breach of duty as defined by the lease or North Carolina Law so that the breach renders the leased premises uninhabitable (i.e. no heat, water, etc.) this is known as constructive eviction and the tenant should seek legal advice for their remedies.
DEPOSITS: A residential landlord may collect a security deposit from a tenant to secure the payment of rent and bills and to pay for damages. How much of a security deposit a landlord can assess depends on the length of the tenancy. The deposit cannot exceed 2 weeks rent if a tenancy is week-to-week, one and one half month's rent if a tenancy is month to month and two months rent for terms greater than month to month (i.e. a year's lease). (N.C.G.S. 42-51)
- A Landlord can request a security deposit to hold an apartment for a tenant at the time the tenant fills in the rental application. Read the application carefully concerning the refundability of the deposit. If the tenant changes their mind about leasing the premises, (before the lease is signed) the deposit may not, in certain instances, be returned if the Landlord has not found a replacement tenant before your move-in date.
- Most application fees, which are not deposits, are nonrefundable.
- A nonrefundable "redecorating fee" or "cleaning fee", in addition to a security deposit, is appearing more and more in leases. It is questionable as to the validity of these fees as they appear to be an attempt to circumvent Landlord Tenant Law. Ask questions about these fees and their refundability.
- A landlord who receives a security deposit from a residential tenant must deposit the money in a trust account at a bank or savings and loan located in North Carolina, or obtain a bond from a leasing insurance company to secure its repayment. (NCGS 42-50). The Landlord must notify the tenant in writing of the location of the deposit within 30 days of leasing the premises.
- A landlord has 30 to 60 days after the end of the lease term to either refund the full amount of the security deposit to the tenant or to give the tenant a written justification for the deductions. If the landlord does not have an address where a tenant's security deposit refund can be sent, he/she must hold the balance of the security deposit for at least six (6) months. (NCGS 42-52)
- Landlords in North Carolina are not required to place security deposits in an interest bearing account.
- A landlord may only apply security deposits to actual damages such as:
1. Past due rent and late fees.
2. Damages to the rental property.
3. Nonfulfillment of Rental Period, i.e. the tenant leaves before the end of the rental term or
without proper notice. A Landlord cannot keep the deposit as a penalty but only to offset actual damages.
4. Costs which the landlord incurs in evicting a tenant or re-renting the property, i.e. costs of removal and storage of tenants property after a summary ejectment proceeding, court costs and advertising expenses.
5. Unpaid bills (N.C.G.S.42-51)
- A landlord should not make deductions from the security deposit for ordinary wear and tear.
- If your landlord fails to timely refund your security deposit or if you feel that the deductions from the deposit were unwarranted or excessive, you should seek legal advice. Landlords can charge more for damages, cleaning and unpaid rent/bills than is covered by the security deposit you paid. In other words, you could still end up owing the landlord money even though the Landlord retained your full deposit.
- Landlords may also collect deposits for such things as pets and keys. Unless designated as non-refundable, all deposits should be refunded to the tenant at the conclusion of the lease less deductions made for actual damages. (Pet deposits are usually designated as nonrefundable).
ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENT COUNCIL, INC.
HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM P.O. BOX 549, EDENTON, N.C. 27932
252-482-4458 phone * 252482-2326 fax
Equal Opportunity Employer Equal Opportunity Housing
VERIFICATION OF NEED REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION
Explanation of services the live in aide or medical assistant will supply:_________________________________________
Number of hours needed daily: ____________________ Times per week:___________________
Signature & Title of Medical Professional/Social Worker
Name of Agency/Medical Facility
Return to: EIC, Inc. P.O.Box 549 Edenton NC 27932 or fax to:___252-482-2326 ____252-335-4631