Our office was swamped with calls the first two weeks in September 2015, as landlords who accepted Living in Communities (linc) renters did not receive their rent checks. The question was the same from everyone, "where is my check"? This is the first time checks were delivered late and landlords had every reason to be concerned. Our communication with Linc HRA personnel revealed, the delay was not due to the City of New York Human Resources Administration. The checks were delivered to the Cadma Plaza Post Office location on August 29th, but were not mailed out due to the Labor Day holiday. Landlords finally began receiving their checks around September 12, 2015.
An investigation, followed with a written formal apology from NYC Human Resources Administration, Commissioner Steven Banks, confirmed that the fault was with the United States Post Office. The checks were delivered timely but the post office did not commence delivery until September 10, 2015.
This delay prompted Commissioner Steven Banks, to announce that landlords will have a option in 2016 to receive rent checks via electronic funds transfer (EFT). This means, monthly rent payments will automatically transfer into a landlord's bank account. This will make it faster and easier for landlords to be paid because it will now bypass the postal system. This system is already in place for rent payments to the New York City Housing Authority, who administers Section 8 payments. Landlords with Section 8 tenants already have the option to collect payment via check or EFT.
In his apology letter, dated September 10, 2015, Commissioner Steven Banks, advised Linc landlords they will have an option to receive rent payments via EFT during 2016. In the coming months more information is expected to follow.
Landlords who receive payments by EFT should be aware that if a tenant is being evicted for non-payment of the tenants portion of the rent they should terminate payments by EFT. The courts have always alleged that accepting payments by EFT is the same as giving the tenant an ok to owe the balance. Therefore, we would recommend, if you are filing eviction proceedings against a tenant for any type of non-payment action you should switch rent payments from EFT to mail. This gives you the option of not cashing the checks until a later date. Consult with an attorney for any questions about the eviction process before making any decision on terminating rent payment by EFT or filing a court action for non-payment.
If you are a landlord with an apartment for rent to: Linc, Section 8, Cityfeps, Hud-Vash, Hasa, DSS, PA or income only tenants please contact us immediately at 914-299-0420.