Tenant Handbook

Dartmouth Housing Authority

Introduction

Dear Dartmouth Housing Authority Resident:

On behalf of the Dartmouth Housing Authority’s board members and staff, I am happy to welcome you to your new home.

We are extremely proud of both of our developments, so whether your new address is Munroe Terrace or Sol-E-Mar Lane, you have entered an environment where the staff is well-trained and dedicated to providing a safe, affordable and decent home for you.

Residing in a development such as this will be, for most people, a new experience. You will be sharing with many other residents, and the Dartmouth Housing Authority, the mutual obligation to make the development a pleasant and attractive example of community life in our town.

The Housing Authority must provide efficient management as its contribution to sound financial administration. To this end, we will repair and maintain the property and, with your assistance, keep it attractive and a credit to the community.

All occupants should be aware of their neighbor’s right to privacy and peaceful enjoyment of their apartment. Management will gladly receive your suggestions or observations and will advise and aid you in meeting and resolving problems that may arise; it will cooperate to the fullest extent in making your occupancy agreeable and pleasant. Cooperation of all concerned is the basis for success in any housing development.

Board Members and Staff

Elaine Lancaster, Chairman
Sam Jonsson, Member
George Alix, Tenant Member
Cheryl Cieplik, Member
Brock Cordeiro, State Appointee

Constance Desbiens, Executive Director
Shelly M. Taffe McCulley, Section 8 Co-ordinator
Carol Lafleur, Part-time Section 8 Clerk
Kerrie Bosse, Tenant Selector

Ryan Arruda, Maintenance, Sol-E-Mar
Michael Domingos, Maintenance, Munroe Terrace
Frank Riveira, Part-time Maintenance

Board Meetings

The Board of Directors of the Dartmouth Housing Authority meet on the second Monday of every month, alternating between both complexes. These meetings are held at 2:00 p.m. in the Community Center. All tenants of both sites are welcome to attend any and all Board meetings.

Management Office and Maintenance Numbers

The management office of the Dartmouth Housing Authority is located at 2 Anderson Way. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office phone number is 508-994-1424.

The office number at Sol-E-Mar is 508-999-1830 and Ryan’s emergency phone number is 774-930-5071.

The maintenance number at Munroe Terrace is 508-994-7509 and Mike’s emergency phone number is 508-789-7244 and Frank’s is 774-930-6100.

(SEE SECTION ON REPAIRS AND EMERGENCIES ON PAGES 7 AND 8 FOR DETAILS ON WHEN TO USE EACH NUMBER.)

FOR ALL MEDICAL OR FIRE EMERGENCIES, PLEASE CALL 911.

Your Lease

All residents receive a copy of their lease when they first move in. Your lease is the

legally binding contract between you and the Dartmouth Housing Authority; it assures your right to live in your apartment so long as you abide by it and the attached rules and regulations. Read your lease and this handbook carefully. Please feel free to ask the Director or any staff about any parts which you do not understand.

Rent Payments

Your rent is due and payable on or before the fifth (5th) of the month and will be considered delinquent on the seventh (7th) of the month. A late fee of $25.00 will be assessed for any rent not paid on time. Your rent must be paid by check or money order made out to the Dartmouth Housing Authority. If you are away during rent payment time, it is your responsibility to contact the office about the rent payment. You may mail or hand-deliver your rent payment. There is a drop slot on the door to the maintenance office at Sol-E-Mar and one on the door to the conference room at Munroe Terrace.

Rent Calculation and Re-Certification

The rent for your apartment is based on your income and family size. Each year it is necessary for you to update that information for the Authority. ALL RECERTIFICATION INFORMATION OBTAINED BY THE AUTHORITY IS KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. If your income or family size changes at any other time during the year, you should notify the Executive Director right away. In order to maintain an orderly, effectively managed property, management needs to know who lives at your address.

Apartment Inspection Policy

It shall be the policy of the Dartmouth Housing Authority to inspect all apartments at least once a year. A 48-hour notice will be sent prior to the inspection date. It is the responsibility of the tenant (as outlined in the Lease) to keep the apartment clean and safe. The Director has the right to act on any concerns brought to her attention without prior notice to the tenant.

There may also be a yearly inspection of all apartments by DHCD (Department of Housing and Community Development) and/or HUD (Housing and Urban Development).

Temporary Tenant Vacancy

As a resident of one of our developments, you must notify management if you are going away on an extended vacation. If you have a prolonged illness in which hospitalization or nursing home care is necessary, you must obtain a statement from your doctor, stating your illness and the date in which you can return to your unit. Your rent must be paid during your absence.

Alcoholic Beverages

It shall be the policy of the Dartmouth Housing Authority that NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES are to be consumed on any property of the housing authority other than inside tenant’s individual apartment.

No Smoking Policy

The Dartmouth Housing Authority adopted the following NO SMOKING policy for the purpose of maintaining a healthy environment for residents and staff.

NO SMOKING will be permitted in the common areas of the Dartmouth Housing Authority. The common areas consist of the parking lots, community room, laundry room, office and all common hallways.

Effective April 1, 2015, there is to be no smoking in the apartments, either by tenants, or any guest of the tenants. No smoking is allowed while sitting in your car unless you are leaving the property. You must exit the grounds in order to smoke. At Sol-E-Mar, that would be on the street (Sol-E-Mar Lane) and at Munroe Terrace, outside of either gate. Violation of this policy will result in an eviction.

RESIDENT COOPERATION WITH THE NO SMOKING POLICY IS MANDATORY.

Common Areas

Residents are not allowed to obstruct, store or place any rubbish, trash, vehicles or any other items in the common areas or parking areas. This includes walkways, stairs, porches, hallways or entrance ways. These areas are for entering and departing the buildings only.

Grounds

The grounds around each building are the property of the Dartmouth Housing Authority. Residents must seek permission from the Director before planting a garden, pruning, trimming or removing trees, shrubs, plants, flowers or bushes.

No boats, trailers, campers, motor bikes, all-terrain vehicles, pools (including wading pools), screen houses, swing sets or playground equipment are allowed on housing authority property. Nothing is to be placed on the lawn that will interfere with the mowing of the lawn

Community Room Use

The Community Room is for the use of all residents. Each resident has a key to unlock the door. Be sure to turn off the light when you leave at night. The Community Room is open twenty-four hours per day for your use. It can be reserved by RESIDENTS ONLY

for private use. You MUST call the office to reserve a time and date. If you use the room for private use, you are responsible for cleaning the room and the kitchen before you leave and for disposing of all trash. Residents at Munroe Terrace are urged to use the grills and decks (weather permitting) and must follow the same rules for cleaning up after themselves. (Fire extinguishers are stored in each grill in case of an emergency.) Please remember that you, as the tenant, are responsible for the conduct of all guests. PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE COMMUNITY CENTER. THERE IS NO SMOKING OR CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL IN THE COMMUNITY CENTER.

Maximum capacity of the Munroe Terrace Community Room is 75 people; 35 people at Sol-E-Mar.

Laundry Room Use

The laundry room is open twenty-four (24) hours a day for your convenience. If anyone is using the laundry room facilities on your behalf, please instruct them on the proper use of the equipment.

Remember, the only persons authorized to use the laundry are residents or their homemakers. Please do not use more than one washer and one dryer at a time. This will enable others to use the facilities when necessary.

Please remember to:

  • Clean out the washing machine after use;
  • Clean out the lint traps immediately after use;
  • Do not wash rugs or animal blankets;
  • Please follow posted instructions as to the amount of detergent to use.
  • Please do not use powdered detergent.

Pet Policy

It is the policy of the Dartmouth Housing Authority to follow the Pet Policy regulation set forth by the Department of Housing and Community Development. In short, a tenant is allowed one pet which falls into the category and restrictions as set by DHCD. A pet deposit of $160.00 or one month’s rent (whichever is less) must be paid when submitting a Pet Waiver application. Accompanying this must also be a full set of veterinarian documentations, with proper information, which must be updated yearly. A complete Pet Policy packet may be obtained at the management office. NO TENANT IS ALLOWED TO OBTAIN A PET WITHOUT FILLING OUT THE PROPER PAPERWORK FIRST.

Feeding Animals

Residents are not allowed to feed animals other than a hummingbird feeder. Throwing out bread or other food on the ground attracts coyotes, raccoons, cats, pigeons, seagulls and other wild animals. These animals carry diseases and can be a nuisance. Tenants are prohibited from feeding or harboring stray or wild animals.

Residents with pets must feed them inside their home. No food is to be left outside.

Trash Policy

It is the policy of the Dartmouth Housing Authority to have all trash placed in plastic bags and put inside the Dumpsters. Please be sure that all garbage is wrapped. It is the responsibility of the tenant to dispose of their own trash, not that of the maintenance employee. We do recycle! There are receptacles for paper and bottles at each Dumpster.

If you have any large trash that will not fit in the Dumpsters, please talk to maintenance about this. There is a disposal fee for such items as mattresses, tvs, etc. Please call the office when you are throwing these items away and we will inform you of the correct fee.

Nothing is to be flushed down toilets except tissue paper. No garbage is to be put down the kitchen drains. Also, no disposing of needles, adult diapers, wipes and other such items is allowed! This causes sewer backups which become expensive to the Authority.

Guests

Your apartment can only be occupied by those persons listed on your lease or added thereto, in writing, with the approval of the Executive Director. Guests and visitors cannot stay overnight with tenants for more than 21 nights in a twelve (12) month period without specific written approval from the Dartmouth Housing Authority. Tenants having overnight guests are required to call the office and inform us as to who it is and how long they are staying.

Friends and relatives are welcomed; however, a constant overnight guest may constitute a violation of the guest policy, thereby putting the tenant in violation of his/her lease agreement. The tenant is responsible for the conduct of their guest at all times while on the housing authority premises. The tenant is responsible for damages to property and noise complaints caused by their guests.

Noise Policy

The Dartmouth Housing Authority has adopted the following noise policy for the purpose of resident relations.

A certain amount of noise can be expected in apartment living. Residents and guests are expected to minimize their noise as not to disturb others. Conversations in common areas should be kept to a reasonable volume. Televisions, radios and other similar devices should not be used in the common areas.

Quiet hours will be between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. During those hours, apartment doors should be closed and all noise, conversations, televisions, radios, etc., should be contained within your apartment.

Courtesy hours are those hours not specifically designated as quiet hours. Courtesy hours are a matter of common sense. This means that if you or your guests are making noise loud enough to disturb your neighbors inside or outside of your apartment, then you are in violation of courtesy hours. Thus, loud conversations, televisions, radios and other disturbances will not be tolerated.

Violators of the noise policy will be called by Management on first offense. Subsequent offenses will be handled by written notice and/or private conference.

Repairs and Maintenance

If your apartment needs repairs, please notify the office by calling 508-994-1424. Please call the office right away if you notice conditions that may get worse, such as leaks or bugs.

Maintenance personnel operate on written orders from the office. DO NOT stop the maintenance man in the yard and ask him to make a repair.

Although management has a duplicate key, it will not be used to enter your apartment without your permission, except in an emergency or after 48 hours written notice, If you prefer, you may make arrangements to either be at home or have an adult friend there to let the worker into your apartment. There is no charge for maintenance or repairs except for the repair of damage caused by the tenant or guests. Repairs will be done on an emergency basis first, and with the judgment of the maintenance staff.

On Call Service Policy

Maintenance employees are available for EMERGENCY repairs after regular business hours.

They can be reached via cell phones for the following emergency situations:

  • Fires – after calling 911 first!
  • Gas leaks – only stove related; all others call EverSource/Gas
  • Electric power failure – apartment related only – all others call

EverSource/Electric

  • Broken water pipes
  • Sewer blockage
  • Roof leak
  • No heat or hot water
  • Inoperative refrigerator
  • Flood/toilet overflowing

Cell phone numbers: Mike – 508-789-7244

Frank – 774-930-6100

Ryan – 774-930-5071

All other maintenance needs should be reported to the office during normal working hours.

Lockouts

If you should lock yourself out of your unit and a maintenance person must respond after office hours, you will be charged a fee of $50.00. It is recommended that you provide a trusted friend, neighbor or relative with an extra key to avoid these charges.

Snow Removal

The Dartmouth Housing Authority is responsible for snow removal on all walkways and parking lots. In the event of a major snow storm (in excess of three (3) inches), the plowing will be done by the maintenance staff.

If you are warned of a snow storm in advance, all cars should be moved to the appropriate parking places; off the side of the roads. The Dartmouth Housing Authority assumes no responsibility for any damage done to any vehicles left on the roadway.

The main driveways, walkways and accessible parking spaces will be cleared first. Maintenance will clear individual parking spaces only after everything else has been cleaned. Residents are responsible for clearing snow from their vehicles. Residents must be prepared to move their vehicles by 8:00 a.m. when there has been an overnight storm or within two hours after the end of a daytime storm.

At certain times it may become necessary for maintenance to request residents to move their vehicles temporarily. When this occurs, all residents are expected to cooperate so that plowing can take place as quickly as possible.

Should the maintenance staff be working overtime (nights and/or weekends) clearing snow, they are there to do only the main walkways and roadways. All extra snow removal in parking spaces shall be done during normal working hours (unless the storm is of abnormal proportions, at which time the Director will make the appropriate decisions.)

Management encourages residents not to drive on roads after a storm unless it is absolutely necessary.

Tenants’ Vehicle and Parking Policy

This authority is not responsible for vandalism, theft, or damage of the tenants’ or guests’ vehicle. Residents are not allowed to wash their vehicles on housing authority property.

The Dartmouth Housing Authority is responsible for assigning tenants who have cars a numbered parking space upon signing a lease.

The tenant must provide to the office a valid automobile registration, at which time a Resident sticker and parking place will be issued. The sticker shall be placed in the passenger side of the rear window (inside).

There will only be one vehicle per tenant allowed to park in the tenant parking spaces; any other vehicle is to be parked off the premises of the Authority.

There is an area designated for “Visitor Parking” at each complex: next to the Dumpster at Sol-E-Mar and at either entrance to Anderson Way for Munroe Terrace.

The Director has the right to make adjustments to parking arrangements as she sees fit if the need arises.

Porches

Porches are shared with your neighbors. DO NOT BLOCK STAIRWAYS OR DOORWAYS with plants, furniture or anything that you or your neighbor could trip over. ABSOLUTELY NO CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, HANGING PLANTS OR ANY OTHER ORNAMENTAL DECORATIONS ARE TO BE HUNG FROM CEILINGS OR RAILS OF PORCHES OR BALCONIES.

Air Conditioners

The Dartmouth Housing Authority has the following air conditioner policy:

  • Air conditioners cannot exceed 10,000 BTU’s.
  • Air conditioners must be covered from Oct. 15th thru April 15th.
  • Only one air conditioner per unit is allowed.
  • All air conditioners must be properly installed by means of an approved bracket, and will be inspected after being installed.
  • The tenant is responsible for making arrangements to have their air conditioner installed. Please notify the office of your intentions. Names of approved companies may be available to help with this.

Do not open your windows in your apartment when you have your air conditioner running. Wasting utilities is a violation of your lease, which this Authority takes very seriously.

Ceiling fans – if you wish to have a ceiling fan installed in your apartment, you must contact the office. Approved ceiling fans can only be installed by a licensed electrician; proof of which must be submitted at the time of request. Floor and window fans are allowed.

Alarm Devices and Emergency Pull Cords

Each apartment has a heat detector which, if activated, automatically sounds the horns on the outside of the building, lights the fire alarm lights on the building and sets off the master alarm system at the fire station.

Each apartment is also equipped with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

Do not tamper with any of these devices. Please contact the office if you are experiencing problems with them (chirping or beeping usually signals dying battery).

There is an emergency pull cord in the bathroom and bedroom of each unit. If you have an emergency and cannot get to a phone, pulling the cord will sound an alarm outside your front door. These alarms are not connected to the fire or police departments. They are designed to alert your neighbors and they will be able to call for help. If you go to help a neighbor whose alarm is sounding, do not try to move them. Call 911 for help. Do not tie these cords up; they must hang down in order to serve their useful purpose.

Decoration

Management must be consulted prior to repainting or improving your apartment. Requests must be made in writing to the Executive Director. If any improvement is done without permission, the cost of restoring the apartment to its original condition may be charged to the tenant.

Please be aware that the stove and refrigerator belong to the Authority. Please keep them in good, clean working condition. The same goes for all shades in the apartment. Any problems concerning their function must be reported to the management office.

There is to be no wallpaper, borders, or sticky adhesive paper applied to any surface.

Under no circumstances will a satellite dish or antenna be allowed to be placed on the roofs, fascia boards, or any other part of the buildings or grounds managed by the Authority.

Reasonable Accommodations

Availability of reasonable accommodations for tenants in such matters as reasonable modifications to physical spaces and to units, tenant transfers, parking, the disposal of trash can be requested and will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Executive Director. It is recommended to put such requests in writing.

The Dartmouth Housing Authority shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, familial status, gender identity, marital status, receipt of public assistance, military status or disability in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities.

Appliances

A refrigerator and stove, both in clean and working order, are supplied to each tenant upon moving in. It is the responsibility of the Dartmouth Housing Authority to maintain these appliances in working order. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE THERE TO BE ANY OTHER APPLIANCES I.E. WASHING MACHINES; DISH WASHERS (PORTABLE OR STATIONARY); FREEZERS, ETC. IN THE APARTMENT. HAVINGS THESE ARE A VIOLATION OF YOUR LEASE. Nothing is to be stored in the ovens or on top of the stove. This is a very serious fire hazard!

Website

Please visit our website, dartmouthhousingauthority.org, for monthly updates, calendars, menus and general information

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Newsletters

The staff of the Dartmouth Housing Authority publishes a seasonal newsletter which includes a calendar of activities, important dates to remember and some helpful, and sometimes comical, information. Please take the time to read these!

Emergency Packets and Evacuation Policy

Every tenant has been given (and signed for) an emergency evacuation policy and a list of items to be included in an emergency evacuation packet. Please take the time to update these items; this should be done at a minimum of yearly. Keep your File of Life information updated and in the folder attached to your refrigerator! This is the first place a paramedic will go when an ambulance has been called! It is a life saving practice!