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Ground Lease and Membership Fees
All Shared Equity Homeowners pay a monthly fee to CHT. For owners of a single family house, this payment is called a Ground Lease Fee. For condominium owners, this payment is called a Condo Membership Fee.
Champlain Housing Trust can now accept credit/debit card payments for your monthly lease and membership fees. We use a system called FreshBooks.
You will receive an email from "Champlain Housing Trust via FreshBooks" firstname.lastname@example.org on the first of each month. Click on the "View and Pay Invoice" button and you will be able to see the current invoice for your account. If you click on the "Pay Now" button in the upper right of the screen, you'll be able to enter your credit/debit card information and pay your current invoice.
A few things to know about FreshBooks:
1. Even if you receive your invoice via email you can still send a check to CHT if you prefer.
2. You can save your credit card information securely in the system and set up an automatic payment each month, or you can choose to manually pay each invoice. If you set up automatic payments, the payment will be charged to your card on the day the invoice to created (the first of each month).
3. You will not be able to pay more than the invoice balance via credit card. If you prefer to pre-pay your monthly fees, you will need to send a check in to our office and we can apply the credit to your account. Credits will be reflected on our invoice by the 10th of each month.
4. If you prefer to receive a paper statement each month still, you will be charged a $2 fee per month.
Important things to remember:
1. Invoices go out on the 1st of each month, or the next business day if paper statements.
2. They are due on the 10th of that month
3. If they are not paid by the 25th of the month, a late fee of 5% of the amount of that invoice will be charged. If you are mailing a check, please send it far enough ahead to allow our office time to receive and process the check.
For additional instructions from FreshBooks on how to pay your invoice, you can visit their site:
Below are frequently asked questions about these fees.
- 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 or a portion of the fee (South Meadow, Coolidge, City’s Edge and Westwood).
- 2. When is my bill due?
CHT bills are mailed or emailed on the 1st of each month and they are due on the 10th of that month. We will charge a late fee on the 25th of the month if the bill has not been paid.
- 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. You can sign up for emailed invoices by clicking here. Sign Up for Emailed Invoices
- 4. Can I pay my bill online?
Yes! If you sign up to receive your monthly invoice via email, you will be able to pay your bill online with a credit or debit card.
- 5. Can I pay my bill in advance?
While you can pay your bill in advance, we encourage people to take advantage of our new online payment system. It allows you to enter your credit card information and automatically pay your invoice each month. If you pay your bill in advance via a check, you will still receive a monthly invoice through our email system and the credit will be applied within the first 10 days of the month.
- 6. How do I make sure my payment is applied to my account?
To be sure your payment is applied to your account, pay online with a credit card or make sure your name and property address are 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 600 homes and 2,500+ rental units so we do have some instances of individuals with the same name. If you are receiving emailed invoices but sent your payment via check to our office, you will be able to check the balance of the invoice online using the link in your email. Please allow time for your check to arrive at our office and a few additional days for processing.
- 7. 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 10th of each month. While you will not be charged a late fee until after the 25th, you may get a late letter if your payment arrives after the 10th.
- 8. 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 $135 for the year.
- 9. 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.