1. WHAT IS RENTAL ASSISTANCE ?
Rental Assistance is the program that makes it possible for you to have housing based on 30% of your gross income. This is to assist low-income families,as well as those on a fixed income to afford decent sanitary housing.
2. WHAT DO YOU MEAN- THERE’S NO RENTAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE?
Unfortunately some properties are not fully subsidized. For example: a property with 24 apartments may only have 22 units of subsidy. This means that the remaining two units must be rented at the base rent or 30% of your gross income whichever is higher. Due to this there may be a vacancy at the property, because those on the wait list are unable to afford the base rent.
If your income qualifies you to take an apartment with the base rent, you may be able to move into one of those vacant units. For those who take an apartment at the base rent and your income proves to be low enough, you may be able to awarded rental assistance when it becomes available due to a move out or change in another residents’ income; however this is never a guarantee.
3. ARE PETS ALLOWED?
Pets are not allowed. Only documented service/companion animals are permitted; the doctor has to sign off on a form provided by our office.
Upon approval, and animal agreement will be signed and documentation on shot records are to be provided.
PET sitting is NOT PERMITTED! Only animals approved by our office are permitted on the property and within that given unit at any time.
4. CAN SOMEONE MOVE-IN WITH ME?
Sure! They MUST apply and pass a background check of credit, criminal, and landlord references; just as you did prior to moving in. Once they have passed those requirements, we must verify all the income and assets for the household and prepare a new lease to be signed.
If someone is believed to be living in your unit and not on your lease this can lead to eviction, re-payment of rental assistance, and your inability to rent from government housing in the future.
5. HOW DO I FILE A COMPLAINT ABOUT MY NEIGHBORS, THE PROPERTY, OR STAFF?
ALL complaints MUST be submitted in writing! You can download the form from online, or pick on up from the office. We will accept e-mails, that give attequet detail of who, what, where, when, and why. Once we have received your complaint we would be happy to briefly discuss the situation and try to resolve the problem or come to a conclusion on what can be done to prevent it in the future.
6. WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE AN EMERGENCY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?
CALL 618-654-2147! You MUST leave a message for the system to document the call/emergency; and someone will call you back in the next 15 minutes.
Please note: This is for emergencies only. If it is not an emergency, you should wait until regular business hours.
7. CAN I HAVE A SATELLITE DISH?
No! Satellite dishes are being phased out, due to installation damages and clutter to the properties.
Cable is permitted and before you have the provider install please contact our office, for a permission letter.
8. WHY DO I HAVE TO REPORT NEW INCOME OR A CHANGE IN THE HOUSEHOLD AND HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO REPORT THIS?
Our program bases your rent off of your income and household information. Some examples of changes that should be reported are: if you get a new job, lose a job, get a significant promotion or raise, have a child or if a child moves out, start or stop receiving cash assistance or social security income, or if you would like to have someone move in with you. This is necessary because all of these items have a direct affect on the amount of rent you will pay. Failure to report changes can result in loss of subsidy, eviction, future inability to rent government housing, as well as being required to pay back subsidy.
9. DO I HAVE TO HAVE A JOB TO MOVE IN?
Income is required. Income can be: Full-time or part-time work, social security, pensions, child-support, cash assistance from the Public Aid office, recurring gifts (help from someone not living in the household) and unemployment benefits.
At all of our properties, residents are required to pay the electric bill, and at some locations are also responsible for the water, sewer, trash, and gas (where applicable. We look at your income to determine if you will be able to do this, as well as sustain yourself in the apartment.
10. CAN I CHANGE OR ADD LOCKS TO MY FRONT DOOR/INSIDE MY APARTMENT?
NO! Every door is keyed so that a master key will open it. This is necessary so we can perform maintenance to the unit as well as safety checks and mandatory requirements.
You also cannot add locks to the inside doors of the apartment. The inside apartment door cannot be locked because it is a safety hazard. We cannot perform maintenance or safety checks if we cannot access the rooms inside your apartment.
Per the USDA Lease Agreement used: page 4 Obligations of the Tenant item #8
“To permit the owner / owner’s agent or its representatives to enter the premises, during all reasonable hours, to examine the same, or to make such repairs, additions to, or alterations as may be deemed necessary, or to show the premises for releasing; and to permit the owner / owner’s agent or its representative to enter the premises at any time for the purpose of determining whether said premises are being used in violation of any of the terms of the Agreement. Where possible, the tenants will be provided with at least 24 hour notice of the entry, however in any case where entry is made without a member of the tenant’s household being present, written notice of the entry will be left in the unit.”
If any of the above issues are found, residents will be billed for the time it takes maintenance to correct the issue.
11. HOW LONG IS THE WAITING LIST?
Most of our waiting lists are at least 6 months. This is just an average estimate on time, as some lists do move more quickly and some do take longer.
12. HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY APPLICATION HAS BEEN APPROVED?
Our process is to notify you as quickly as possible. We have 10 business days from the date we receive your application to provide you with an approval or denial.
If your application is not completed in full or is missing information; we will not be able to process it and it will be sent back to you.
13. I AM A SINGLE OCCUPANT, WHY DON’T I QUALIFY FOR A TWO BEDROOM?
Two bedroom units must go to qualifying applicants (such as families or applicants with more than 1 person) and we are required to make sure we assist families as well as single individuals. Single occupants only qualify for a two bedroom if there are no applicants on the waiting list that need the available unit.
14. CAN I PAINT OR WALL PAPER IN MY APARTMENT?
No. Every apartment has been prepared for residents and includes painting and other services. Wall paper is also not allowed because it cannot easily be removed and can create damage to the walls.
15. HOW CAN I PAY MY RENT?
We have an online portal residents can access through “Rent Café Payment Portal.” You will have to, create an account; after which you would be able to view your ledger, set up recurring payments, submit maintenance request, and pay with mobile app and more. Please click on the “Payments” tab in the top bar of our webpage, or you can follow the link: https://1800rentnow.securecafe.com/residentservices/apartmentsforrent/userlogin.aspx
Other payment methods include: paying by CHECK or MONEY ORDER made out to the Apartment Complex where you reside. These can be mailed to our office (110 Executive Drive, Highland, IL 62249), and/or paid at the office. Please note cash is accepted but can only be in the exact amount; over payments will be applied to next month’s rent.
In addition, we do have a drop box located to the left of the Terra properties office front door. Payments made after 5pm will be dated the next business day.