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CHT HomeOwner Handbook (141 KB)
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What does my ground lease or membership fee pay for?
Lease and membership fees* allow CHT to be able to provide a wide variety of services to our shared equity homeowners including post-purchase counseling (budgeting, refinancing, delinquency intervention and more), post-purchase education workshops, homeowner advocacy, advertising and support during the sale of your home, tax assistance, special events and stewardship.
*Please note some condominium HOA’s dues include the membership fee (South Meadow, City’s Edge and Westwood)
- 2. When is my bill due?
- CHT bills are due on the 1st of each month, but there is a 15 day grace period and we do not charge a late fee until the bill is 30 days late. Unfortunately due to our accounting system we are unable to print the bills before the 1st of each month so the bills are mailed / emailed on the 2nd or 3rd of the month. If you prefer to send your payment in earlier you do not have to wait for the bill to arrive. Simply send in your payment with a note in the memo letting us know your address, and that the payment is for your lease fee/land taxes or condo membership fee. This allows us to know where to apply your payment.
- 3. I would prefer to get my monthly bill via email. Is this possible?
- Yes, we are able to send you your bill via email. Just send Janet Harvey-Coutrayer an email verifying that you prefer to receive your bill via email instead of the US Postal Service. She will forward this request to our accounting department.
- 4. Can I pay my bill in advance?
- Yes, you can pay your bill quarterly or in one yearly lump sum if you prefer. This will be reflected on your statement as a credit the month after it is received. Unfortunately we are unable to separate out the bills for homeowners with a credit, so you will still receive a bill each month. It can, however, come via email instead of the mail, if you prefer.
- 5. How do I make sure my payment is applied to my account?
- To be sure your payment is applied to your account, please include either the bottom portion of your bill or write your address and “lease fee/land taxes” or “condo membership fee” in the memo field of your check. This helps ensure your check isn’t applied to another account with a similar name. CHT has over 550 homes and 2,000+ rental units so we do have some instances of individuals with the same name.
- 6. Why did I get a late letter when I mailed my check on the 25th?
- It takes time to enter and process payments as well as generate reports and mail late letters. This is why we ask that your payment arrive at CHT by the 16th of each month. While you will not be charged a late fee until after the 30th, you may get a late letter if your payment arrives after the 16th.
- 7. Why do I pay all my land taxes in August each year?
- Single family homeowners in Burlington have two property tax bills, as do most of our shared equity homeowners who live in single family homes. The bill for the land portion of the property taxes comes directly to CHT and we pay the bill on your behalf. CHT then bills you for these taxes on a monthly basis. The difference for Burlington homeowners is that the value of the land has been set by the City at $5,000 for tax purposes. The rest of the value of the property is reflected in the bill for the improvements (your home and other buildings). Because the property taxes on $5,000 is a relatively small amount, CHT bills you the entire amount the month after we receive the bill. This amount varies depending upon the tax rate, but is approximately $122 for the year. CHT will send out a reminder letter a month before the bills are due as a courtesy.
- 8. What are my responsibilities as a CHT Homeowner?
- As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to maintain your home and land. While CHT does own the land itself, the homeowner leases it and has full use and responsibility for the land. Homeowner is responsible for paying all property taxes on the home and the land.
- 9. What are Capital Improvements?
Capital Improvements are work done to the home that increase the market value and are above and beyond normal replacement of items. Capital Improvements are NOT granted for routine maintenance or repairs.
At the resale of a Shared Equity Home with Champlain Housing Trust, the homeowner retains 100% of any market value that is added by capital improvements and 25% of any additional appreciation.
When an appraisal is ordered to determine the current value of a CHT home, the homeowner should prepare a list of improvements that have been done to the home. The appraiser will use this list to isolate the value that has been added by making these improvements.
Is a Capital Improvement: Is NOT a Capital Improvement: Replacing wall to wall carpet with
Replacing wall to wall carpet with
Adding a new garage to a home Replacing an existing garage door Finishing a basement A fresh coat of paint Completely remodeling a kitchen Replacing appliances Adding a fireplace Repairing/replacing an existing
Putting on a deck Replacing windows Adding a bedroom or bathroom Replacing wiring or plumbing
- 10. Who can I call for advice or help?
At CHT once you are a customer you are always a customer. If you ever need some advice or assistance with anything regarding your home or finances, please call and set up a counseling appointment. Janet Harvey-Coutrayer is our Shared Equity Stewardship Specialist and has many years of experience assisting CHT homeowners.
Janet Harvey-CoutrayerOffice Line: 802-861-7339
- 11. Who do I contact with other questions related to my CHT bill?
- Shared equity homeowners can contact Janet Harvey-Coutrayer for assistance with their bill or related issues. Janet can be reached at 861-7339 or via email.