WOODSWORTH HOUSING CO-OPERATIVE, INC.
THE ARREARS BY-LAW (No. 60)
Passed as Schedule D of By-law 2, renamed By-law 22, March 22, 1990, By-law No. 9, March 7, 1983, repealed and replaced by By-law No. 14, Nov. 8 1984; Amended April 29, 1991, By-law #25 which now incorporates Fines By-law #13 as well, By-law #32, Sept. 27, 1993; Amended Nov. 3, 1999, By-law #49); By-law #60, Amended May 12, 2004, effective from July 1, 2004. Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010. Amended Sept. 23, 2013, By-law #74
1. The Co-op provides housing for its members at cost. It is the responsibility of each member to pay his or her assessed share of the costs promptly as it becomes due. If due to financial hardship a member is unable to make his or her payments when due, s/he may apply to the Co-op for rent supplement or internal housing charge assistance. Unless a supplement or assistance is granted, the member shall remain responsible for making his or her full payments when due.
2.1 For the purposes of this By-law, arrears shall mean any outstanding balance due from a member that is not paid when due (i.e. monthly housing charge, monthly parking charge, final month’s housing charge, maintenance deposit, or other charge and any outstanding increases to these items ratified by the general members, due after the interim payment period set by the Board).
2.2 Short Term Chronic Arrears: A member is deemed to be in Short Term Chronic Arrears when:
(a) the member has had 5 (five) late fees administered for late payment of housing charges within the same financial year, or
(b) the member has had 3 (three) cheques returned N.S.F. within the same financial year
(c) the member has arranged 2 (two) Repayment Schedules within the same financial year, or
(d) any combination of a) late payment of housing charge and b) N.S.F. cheques, equalling 4 (four).
2.3 Long Term Chronic Arrears: A member is deemed to be in Long-Term Chronic Arrears if that member has been in Short-Term Chronic Arrears in 2 (two) of any 3 (three) consecutive financial year periods.
3. ARREARS COMMITTEE
3.1 An Arrears Committee shall be struck consisting of seven members: two members elected annually by the general members, one member appointed by the Finance Committee, and two Directors appointed by the Board, all of whom shall have a vote, and the Co-op’s senior administrative employee, who shall not have a vote.
3.2 Quorum for the Committee shall be three voting members. In the case of a tie vote on a decision to serve a member with a Notice to Appear before the Board, a Notice shall be served. In the case of a tie vote on any other matter, the chairperson of the Committee shall cast a second and deciding vote.
3.3 The Committee shall appoint a chairperson from among its members. The Chairperson shall call and chair meetings.
3.4 The Committee shall meet monthly or more often as necessary. Committee meetings shall be held in camera.
3.5 The purpose of the Arrears Committee is to administer this Arrears Policy, review arrears cases and, when it deems necessary, refer cases of arrears or repeated late payment to the Board for eviction or other action. The Committee shall also recommend internal housing charge assistance awards under Article 11 of this policy (Now Arrears By-law).
3.6 The Committee shall report monthly to the Board on arrears then outstanding, action taken to date and any further action recommended.
The Co-op’s senior administrative employee will send reminders to households whose monthly payments are not received when due. On the advice of the Arrears Committee, the Board shall determine dates for issuing first and second reminders.
5. LATE PAYMENTS, PAYMENTS RETURNED AND INTEREST CHARGES
5.1 If a member fails to pay his or her regular monthly housing or parking charges when due in accordance with the Occupancy Bylaw (Article 3, #9d), or any other charge when due, s/he shall pay a fine in an amount the members may set from time to time.
5.2 If a member has been repeatedly late in payment of monthly charges or other charges payable under the By-laws of the Co-op, the Committee may serve the member with a Notice to Appear before a Board meeting to consider whether or not the member’s occupancy rights should be terminated.
5.3 If a member’s cheque is returned to the Co-op by reason of not-sufficient funds, the member’s payment shall be deemed to be late and the member will be in arrears until full payment is made.
5.4 Late Charge: the amount of the Late Charge fine imposed by paragraph 5.1 shall be such amount as the members may set from time to time. A Late Charge will continue to be imposed each month an arrears balance continues. Only one Late Charge will apply for each calendar month.
5.5 Payment return charge: If a payment is returned by a member’s financial institution for any reason, including insufficient funds or funds not cleared, the member shall pay a Payment Return fine in such amount as the members may set from time to time.
5.6 Interest charge: If a member’s account remains unpaid for more than one month, an Interest Charge shall be imposed, calculated at a flat rate as the members may set from time to time, of the portion of the balance that is over one month old. This charge is in addition to any Late Charge that may be imposed under this By-law.
5.7 Exception: In the event that a member produces documentary evidence clearly indicating why it was impossible to pay housing charges on time (such as social assistance arriving late, or the member being in hospital), the Manager may waive a Late Charge for a particular instance.
5.8 These amendments are effective on and from July 1, 2004.
6.1 The staff member of the Arrears Committee shall prepare a list for each meeting of households in arrears.
6.2 The Committee shall review each arrears case and decide what action to take.
6.3 The Committee may:
(a) establish a schedule for full payment of the arrears not exceeding nine months and specify any action to be taken if the schedule is not met;
(b) serve the member with a Notice to Appear before a Board meeting to consider whether or not the member’s occupancy rights should be terminated;
(c) recommend that the member be given housing charge assistance in accordance with Article 11 of this policy (now Arrears By-law);
(d) or take no action if the member is meeting a repayment schedule agreed to by the Committee or the Board.
6.4 The Committee or the staff member on it may, but shall not be required to, call a member who is in arrears to a meeting of the Arrears Committee to explain why s/he is in arrears. If the member does not notify the Co-op in advance that s/he is unable to attend the meeting and fails to appear, the member shall pay a fine of $20.00, or such other amount as the members may set for non-appearance generally.
6.5 The Board may take any action permitted under the by-laws of the Co-op it deems appropriate against a member in arrears but shall consider any reasonable recommendation of the Arrears Committee in making its decision.
7. CERTIFIED CHEQUE
The Co-op may require a member to pay his or her monthly charges or any other charge by certified cheque if it has reason to be concerned that the member’s cheque may be returned N.S.F.
8. WAIVER OF FINES
The Arrears Committee may decide by majority vote to waive any fines levied under this policy.
9. MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING
No member shall be considered to be in good standing if he or she is in arrears. No exceptions shall be made to this rule.
10. BAD DEBTS
An amount owing by a former member who has vacated the Co-op shall be considered a bad debt. At the end of each fiscal year, the Co-op shall make an appropriate reserve in its accounts for bad debts and doubtful accounts, and shall write off any bad debt older than six months. Bad debts written off by the Co-op will remain collectible.
11. MONEY JUDGEMENTS
The Co-op may sue a member for arrears and appropriate costs in Small Claims or other Court without terminating his or her occupancy rights.
12. HOUSING CHARGE ASSISTANCE FUND
12.1 The Co-op shall maintain an internal housing charge assistance fund.
12.2 The members shall determine the amount of the fund annually, normally when the operating budget is approved, on the recommendation of the Board. The Board shall seek the advice of the Finance and Arrears Committees in determining its recommendation.
12.3 The Arrears Committee may recommend to the Board that the Co-op make a loan or non-refundable grant to a member from this fund to cover part or all of the member’s arrears or to assist the member with his or her regular monthly charge on a temporary basis.
12.4 A grant or loan shall not be made to a member who is not in good standing for a reason other than arrears.
12.5 Loans from the housing charge assistance fund shall not bear interest.
Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010.