NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The North Adams Housing Authority Board of Commissioners approved a policy that would hold tenants responsible for damaging property with motorized scooters.
"I think it is time that we created a policy to hold people accountable," Executive Director Jennifer Hohn said at the commissioners' meeting Monday. "When people get scooters they need to be aware of what is expected."
She said there is plenty of scooter damage throughout the authority's properties but specifically sited common areas.
She said one tenant rammed a scooter into one of the elevators causing $15,000 worth of damage.
This person was caught on camera and, after breaking the elevator door, returned to their apartment without reporting the incident.
"It is basically negligence," Hohn said. "Nobody cares and nobody is held accountable so some people just bang into walls and elevators."
The commissioners noted that when people receive a scooter through the state they are first assessed and are briefed on how to properly operate them.
Hohn said she is less worried about tenants who go through the state to get scooters because they tend to safely and respectfully operate them. She said tenants who purchase the scooters with no strings attached are the ones who cause trouble.
"My concern is people who are buying these scooters form other people and some have a tendency to maybe drink too much and operate their scooter under the influence," she said. "That is commonly the biggest issue that we will see."
She said another point of concern is that some tenants have multiple electric scooters in their apartments. Charging them all at once creates a fire hazard.
"We have people with two or three scooters in their apartments right now," she said. "... If someone is charging all three of their scooters at once in their apartment, then we have a problem."
She said the policy will hold tenants accountable who are caught in the act and refuse to report an incident. Hohn said they will not be able to monitor everybody, but she hopes the policy will at least make residents more aware and respectful.
"I just want people to take more ownership and responsibility for their actions," Hohn said.
In other business, the authority has begun the eviction process and has released 30 notices to tenants who have refused to pay rent after the lifting of the eviction moratorium.
Program Manager Lisa Labonte said some tenants have made an honest effort to work with the authority but many have just refused to pay — to the tune of $110,000.
Residents were given 30 days' notice instead of the usual 14.
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