Lancaster Housing Authority
Our team is here to help residents of Lancaster who are elderly or individuals with disabilities within our community gain safe and secure housing in the property we manage.
There are a number of policies that guide us here at Lancaster Housing Authority. Those policies help everyone keep a safe and clean environment for all our residents to enjoy. If you do reside at Bigelow Gardens, please do your best to adhere to these policies.
Tenants of Bigelow Gardens are allowed one vehicle per person. There is no assigned parking spot for any unit. Any vehicles that are unregistered or tenants that violate this policy will incur all expenses associated with the removal of vehicles.
Tenants having visitors must inform their guests that those vehicles must be parked in visitor parking which is located in front of our community building. Other visitor parking can be found by the turnaround near the dumpster location.
The parking policy is for all visitors including nursing services, home health aides and other services that you may have spending time in your unit. Designated parking areas are clearly marked by signage and all tenants receive a yellow tenants parking sticker which should be clearly displayed on the left front windshield of your vehicle.
Tenants of Bigelow Gardens are allowed to place one chair on their front porch. Also permitted are a small sand bucket, small decorations and potted plants making sure that those items do not obstruct access to the front door of the unit.
Tenants are not allowed to trim or cut back any trees or shrubs on the property. That is the responsibility of the Lancaster Housing Authority. If there is room, tenants may plant small flowers near their unit provided they do not dig up any existing plants.
The back porch of all units must remain clear and free from boxes and other items stacked up or stored.
Any lawn furniture and other items such as grills that are placed on the lawn area, must be moved before maintenance conducts any lawn mowing or other yard maintenance.
Tenants may have patio bricks in the back of their apartment, but they must be one (1) foot from edge of the sidewalk and lie flat with the ground. NO bricks/rocks/stones in the front of your apartment. Tenants may not plant anything beyond porch steps in front of back of their apartment.
As you may be aware, the use and possession of marijuana is legal in some capacity here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Here are a few guidelines to follow if you are a tenant of the Lancaster Housing Authority.
People over the age of 21 may possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana inside their primary residence. And may also possess legal quantities that have been lawfully grown. Adults over the age of 21 may cultivate up to six plants up to a maximum of 12 plants in a single residence of two people.
Plant may only be grown in a primary residence and must be located in a secure, locked area. The plants cannot be seen by other residents and must be out of sight.
It is also the policy of the Lancaster Housing Authority that no grow lights may be used on the property at any time.
No public use of marijuana is allowed at any time and that includes building open to all tenants and guests as well as outdoor areas.
Failure to comply with any of these polices can result in eviction from the property.
Snow Removal Policy
The plow will keep the roadways open during a snow storm for emergenies. When the storm is over the plow will be back to clear the roadways and sale as needed. The plow will clear areas in front of Bigelow Gardens along the main street first. (SEE BELOW MAP)
SNOW SHOVELING/SANDING/MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITY
Community building will be plowed out first. The maintenance person clears the handicap ramps. Additional shovelers may be hired as necessitated by the storm. They will shovel the front walkway to the apartment and front porch. They shovel around anything on the porches. The sidewalks will be sanded as needed. The curb cuts will be cleared of snow.
When a snow storm is predicted with more than 1 inch of snow, park your car over by the garage. (SEE BELOW MAP) Do not block the driveway or any doors to the garage or shed. Park neatly so everyone will have a place to park. Do not park in the visitor parking during snow storms. In an effort to assist tenants when “Digging Out” is necessary, staff members will plow as close as is safely possible to the rear or front end of parked cars. Please note, however, that staff members are not permitted to drive or move tenant vehicles, and also cannot “Dig Out” individual cars. This is a DHCD policy. Any tenant who is unable to “Dig Out” and move their own car after a snow storm should arrange for another person to do so. Similarly, tenants who plan to be away from the authority during the winter months should make arrangements for another person to move their car before a snow storm. Tenants may hire or ask other tenants to do these tsks. If a tenant arranges for a family member to move their car, that personal needs to arrive promptly. Tenants may not hire authority employees to perform any tasks.
Please inform family members, home health care providers, and nurses that parking is available in front of Bigelow Gardens during clean up times.
Tenants that choose not to abide by the snow policy will be asked to come to the office for a private conference. if it happens again the Housing Authority will move to evict them. Please see section IX. Tenants Obligations, Q. Rules, Policies, and Regulations in your lease. Also please refer to Section X. Termination or Voiding of Lease.
Rent Collection Policy
The Lancaster Housing Authority will vigorously pursue timely rent collection.
1. Rent is payable in advance on or before the first day of each month by personal check, money order, or certified bank check. Cash will be accepted, but this payment method is discouraged. Cash payments must be made during authority office hours in hand to an office staff member, and will be immediately receipted. Such receipt will be signed by both tenant and office staff member, with copies to tenant and authority. Rent may be paid at any time before the rent due date.
2. Received after 1:00 pm on any day is considered received on the next regular business day. Rent received on a weekend or holiday is considered received on the nest regular business day.
3. The tenant may request a delay in rent payment not to exceed seven (7) days. Such request must be made in writing and be approved by the authority prior to the date that rent is due and will only be granted in extraordinary circumstances.
4. If all or any part of the monthly rent payment is received after 1:00 pm on the seventh of the month, then the unpaid rent shall be declared delinquent.
5. If any rent arrearage exists after the 30th day of any month, the authority will charge a $25.00 late fee in accordance with state regulations.
6. Except for households exempted by law (gold star mothers, veterans, and widows/widowers of veterans), any over-housed tenant who refuses to sign a new lease and move to a unit of appropriate size within 30 days of LHA’s Notice of Transfer, will thereafter be charged 150% of then current rent. The LHA will continue to collect the higher rent until such time that another appropriately-sized unit becomes available AND the tenant signs a leave and agrees to move to the new unit.
7. The tenant shall be assessed a $15.00 charge each time a check is returned for insufficient funds. If five (5) checks are returned for insufficient funds in any twelve month period, personal checks will no longer be accepted for rental payments.
8. Misrepresentation, nondisclosure, or late disclosure of income, failure to report changes in household size, or other fraudulent acts which violate rent collection provisions in the lease, will result in immediate initiation of eviction proceedings. Any applicable interest accrues during periods of nonpayment. The authority will aggressively pursue collect of overdue rental monies.
9. If tenant fails to pay all or any part of the rent by the seventh of the month, the authority will declare the rent delinquent and issue a Notice of Lease Termination/Notice to Quit. Before issuing such a Notice, except where the tenant is habitually delinquent in paying rent and has opportunity for discussion within the prior six months, the authority will provide the tenant with an opportunity to discuss the reason for nonpayment.
10. Upon expiration of the Notice to Quit, the authority will serve a Summary Process Summons and Complaint on tenant and file the action in a court of appropriate jurisdiction. If the authority prevails, the tenant will pay all expenses incurred by the authority as a result of the tenant’s failure to pay rent. These costs include court filing fees, sheriff/constable costs, and move/storage costs in eviction actions commenced on account of tenant’s nonpayment of rent. If the parties execute an Agreement for Judgment, the authority will negotiate for tenant payment of all costs.
11. When management or a tenant properly terminates the lease, and tenant leaves between rent payment dates, the rental amount will be adjusted proportionally.
12. The tenant’s lease and/or state regulations may contain additional provisions regarding rent and payment collection.
ADOPTED BY THE LANCASTER HOUSING AUTHORITY
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2015
Please call our office for more information on the following policies:
- Credit Card