Credit on Vacated Accounts

Purpose
Legal Framework
Background
Credits at time of termination of a tenancy
Credits that are more than 2 years old
Credits of $50.00 or less
Refund of credits

Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to outline the appropriate action to be taken when credits are identified on vacated rent and sundry debt accounts.

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Legal Framework

This policy is consistent with the provisions of the Financial Management Act 1996 and the Unclaimed Moneys Act 1997.

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Background

Vacated accounts are client accounts where the associated tenancies have been terminated.

Credits on vacated accounts arise from:

  • Credit amounts under $50.00 that do not warrant refunding (not cost effective)
  • Refund cheques not being presented, by clients, within 15 months of issue
  • Monies paid into incorrect accounts (eg. A client may pay rent into a sundry account by mistake)
  • Overpayments of rent.

Vacated accounts are examined to ensure credits are not off-set by debts to Housing ACT - eg. tenant responsible maintenance (TRM), rent arrears, debt previously 'written-off'.

Reasonable effort is made to locate the people who made the payments. However, most of the searches/enquiries are unsuccessful.

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Credits at time of termination of a tenancy

Monies identified as possible credits at the time a tenancy is being terminated may be refunded to the client after:

  • Any TRM, identified during the pre-vacation and/or post-vacation inspections, has been processed; and
  • Any monies owed to the Commissioner for Social Housing have been repaid.

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Credits more than 2 years old

Not all refunds are successfully concluded at time of a tenancy termination, especially if:

  • Refund cheques are returned to sender (Housing ACT)
  • Refund cheques are not presented by the client within 15 months of issue
  • Payments continue to be received by Housing ACT after the termination.

In such cases, where credits on a vacated account are two (2) or more years old (ie. there has been no transaction on the account in the preceding 2 years) the credits will be recognised in Housing ACT's financial statements as revenue.

Appropriate records are to be maintained to provide a proper audit trail, and to ensure that a refund can be processed when requested by the client.

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Credits of $50.00 or less

Where credits on a vacated account are $50.00 or less, the credits will be recognised in Housing ACT's financial statements as revenue.

Appropriate records are to be maintained to provide a proper audit trail, and to ensure that a refund can be processed when requested by the client.

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Refund of credits

A refund of credits may be made in the following circumstances:

  • On termination of tenancy; or
  • On subsequent written application by the client. This would only be necessary if the initial refund process was not successfully concluded at termination of tenancy.

A refund may be in the form of:

  • A standard cheque to be posted to the client
  • A collect cheque to be picked up by the client
  • An Electronic Funds Transfer to the client's bank account

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