The purpose of this document is to outline the policy associated with the transfer of funds between accounts (payment references) when clients have multiple accounts and there is a debt owing on at least one of the accounts.
Tenants may have multiple accounts because of prior tenancies and a current tenancy (or a number of prior tenancies), or both rental and sundry accounts attached to a current and/or prior tenancy/ies.
Where a credit exists on an account, either rent or sundry, it is possible to move that credit to offset a debit on another account, either sundry or rent.The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal also can order the movement of debits between accounts.
The Tenancy Agreement in use since the commencement of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 provides the Commissioner for Housing with the power to allocate any payment made by a tenant as the Commissioner sees fit. Tenancy Agreements in use earlier that this time do not grant the Commissioner this power.
Where credit exists on an account, clients should be encouraged to use that credit to offset debt on another account in order to prevent arrears recovery action that may jeopardise a current tenancy.
Transfer of credit funds between current accounts can only be undertaken with tenant permission.
Written authorisation from the tenant will normally be required using the Transfer of Funds form.Where verbal arrangements are made with the tenant to transfer funds, the Housing Manager must fully document the conversation on the Client File.
Transfer of credit funds between vacated accounts does not require tenant authorisation. Reasons for transfer must be fully documented on the Client File.
Transfer of debit amounts may only be undertaken on current accounts where the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal has issued an order to do so.