Mother of 3 stressed over RRHA rent mix-up

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond mother of three says a rent mix-up has her filled with anxiety. She’s worried about losing her apartment in Whitcomb Court.

Nicole Brown-Little is in a jam that she hasn’t been able to fix. She contacted CBS 6 Problem Solvers for help. Brown-Little says she pays her rent through an RRHA payment center, a convenience store on Mechanicsville Turnpike that only accepts cash rent payments.

She says her troubles began in March when she paid $588 plus a small processing fee at the store and didn’t thoroughly examine the receipt.

Nicole Brown-Little

Nicole Brown-Little

Weeks later she received a notice on her door that her rent was delinquent and legal action would be taken. A court summons followed shortly thereafter.

“I’m looking like—that’s kind of impossible because I have my receipt here and I know I paid my rent. Something is wrong,” Brown-Little explained.

The problem? She says someone else’s ID number issued by RRHA was noted on her store receipt. The agency told CBS 6 Problem Solvers that Brown-Little and another tenant both produced similar receipts. One is labeled a duplicate.

A Richmond mother of three says a rent mix-up has her filled with anxiety.

A Richmond mother of three says a rent mix-up has her filled with anxiety.

CBS 6 took her concerns straight to the top at RRHS. Its Chief Operating Officer, Carol Jones-Gilbert says the amount paid at the store is closer to the amount that the other tenant pays than Brown-Little’s.

She also said the store indicated it only had one RRHA rent payment in that amount noted in their Global Express system for that day.

Problem Solvers went to the store and the clerk who waited on Brown-Little that day in confirmed that he did accept her $588.00 rent payment on March 9th just like the receipt indicated.

RRHA is still owed a payment and Brown-Little says she just can’t afford to pay the same rent twice. She also thinks it would be unfair for her to be forced to pay it.

“I did tell them that it was no way possible I would be able to give it to them -- $588," Brown-Little said. "Then that would mean my rent would be late. Meaning my June rent would be late. But then that would be another notice on my door."

Jones-Gilbert says the numbers still don’t add up, so they’ve delayed Brown-Little’s court case until they can research this further.

When asked by CBS 6 whether both women should split the cost if RRHA can’t verify who paid it, Jones-Gilbert says that is an option she would consider.

If they can figure out who owes the delinquent rent, she says RRHA will work with the tenant until she can get caught up and back on track. Until that determination is made, Jones-Gilbert says they delayed the court case against Brown-Little.

Whitcomb Court

Whitcomb Court

Meanwhile, the mom of 3 says she is not comfortable at all doing any more cash-only transactions to pay her rent.

Jones-Gilbert says all RRHA tenants have several options. Global Express at area convenience stores is just one.

She says tenants can also mail their rent check or a money order to a lockbox by using the envelope that comes in their rent statement each month. That payment goes to a lockbox in Baltimore, Maryland so the tenant would have to make sure it is mailed out in time.

She also says residents can set up an ACH withdrawal or do a bill pay with their bank. Brown-Little says she’s going to turn to that option right away.

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