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Cheryls2762

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Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #1 
The situation:  When she took the apartment in April 2011, I VERBALLY advised NO PERSONAL CHECKS.  She renewed the lease in April 2012, in May, 2012 I told her no more outdoor parties because I had complaints from neighbors.  On June 1st, with her cashiers check she deducted $60 (12x$5) claiming I only was entitled to $940.. less $60 because she was deducting the cost of her cashiers checks for last year..  .  She claims NOT ACCEPTING PERSONAL CHECKS is illegal.

My first mistake, It did not say on the lease NO PERSONAL CHECKS, but again, the 12x$5 she deducted for a lease that was no longer enforceable.  She will not open the door or answer the phone to discuss. 

So my first real question, is it ILLEGAL not to accept personal checks?  If I do not accept PERSONAL CHECKS can she charge me for the cashier's checks?
Marytmary1978

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Posts: 445
Reply with quote  #2 

Do you have a REASON to not accept her personal checks?  If not, ( you just don't like them) she may have a leg to stand on.  If she gave you a NSF check- then you have a reason.

Cheryls2762

Registered:
Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #3 
I just simply do NOT ACCEPT ANYBODY'S PERSONAL CHECKS.  I decided this when I bought the building.  I.e., go to the stores and it says NO PERSONAL CHECKS ACCEPTED.
Marytmary1978

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Posts: 445
Reply with quote  #4 

I think that you may have a difficult time enforcing that in court.  Difference is that you have a contract-- not just selling goods and services.  Just like your mortgage company has to accept your check-- you may have to accept theirs.  I think a judge would rule in favor of the tenant.  If they are a good tenant- taking 60 to $70 off for the year is cheap to keep them. (how much would it cost you to ahave a vacancy for a week?)  If they are a good tenant- their check is most likely good-- accept it.  If that is the biggest problem you have-- then you have it made.

 

You may want to institute a policy that you do not accept personal checks for the 1st and deposit at move in-- that should not be a problem.

Cheryls2762

Registered:
Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #5 
Is she not deducting monies from a LEASE that is currently unenforceable?  She did not specify.  The new lease again I did not put personal checks not accepted.  If you want to get all legal, Can I go back and charge her LATE FEES for last years lease even though it is not in there to pay late fees and she was late on SEVERAL OCASSIONS?  Afraid if I let her do this, we will get into a "pissing contest" if you will.
Marytmary1978

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Posts: 445
Reply with quote  #6 

You have a good tenant- right?

Get over the $60! 

Piss her off, and you will most likely lose a good tenant-- she will move and a judge will find that your lease is not enforceable because YOU started demanding things that were not in the lease.  Then you will have a vacancy-- how much will that cost you???

 

Take her personal check as long as you have not had a problem-- or reimburse her for the $5 that your demands make her pay for it.

 

For crying out loud- don't get hung up on the $60!!!!! 

Charmed

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Posts: 369
Reply with quote  #7 
Can you compromise with her -- tell her you'll split the difference -- take off $30 and in return you'll start accepting personal checks going forward.
Cheryls2762

Registered:
Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #8 
She did not offer a personal check, just sent me this note w/her money order whereby these monies are suddenly deducted.  Since she moved in she has not asked me to take a personal check.  Again this was something verbally stated 14 mos ago when she moved in and hasn't been discussed since just suddenly this notice.  How long should I let her sit there and not discuss.  No not such a good tenant, got the rent on the 1st, or the 2nd, 3rd, 4th.  When she found convenient.  She is pissed and trying to annoy me.  REAL PROBLEM  On Memorial Day she had outdoor party where neighbors complained. Party made front of house look like trailer trash, she set up two kids swimming pools, ruined my lawn, unwound 150' of hose for blocks broken balloons etc.  Party on Sun., knocked at door asked her to pls clean up on TUES and explained of the neighbor complaint I had on Monday that adult male chasing child sprayed water in his windows. I explained to her I had complaints, you cannot have outdoor parties of that size here any more.  Park is a block away, suggested she use the park and asked her to CLEAN UP THE MESS. On June 1st, this insanity ...  So, she is pissed and trying to find a way to take it out on me for explaining to her that her guests should not have been on my neighbors front porch w/my hose spraying in his windows while spraying water at each other?  The PERSONAL CHECK thing was told to her over a year ago when she moved in.  I had just renewed her lease and thought things would go on as normal.  BTW, last years party on Memorial day not as bad and I CLEANED UP MESS rather than asking her to.  Guess asking her to clean her mess something I shouldn't have done? 
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,720
Reply with quote  #9 
This isn't a good tenant.  This is a tenant who put swimming pools on the LLs front lawn killing the grass, who ran hoses all over the neighborhood ticking off the neighbors, who sprayed water in a neighbor windows (thought he was mad before!), who deducted money from her rent for no reason, etc.  The vacancy may be cheaper than the damages to the yard and the friendship of long term neighbors (remember the LL lives on this property and has to deal with these neighbors long after the tenant moves.) 

That said, I would accept her personal checks until such time they bounce.  But I would insist she repay the $60.  I would insist that she clean up her own messes!  And I would put a lock on that ourside tap so she can't use it without your permission.  No more swimming pools or hoses pulled through the neighborhood.
MOON

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Posts: 577
Reply with quote  #10 

My bank does not charge me for cashiers / bank check. did she provide receipts? ofcourse not - did you force her to pay by cashier ck? no, she could pay by money order or cash. But you must change the language in all your leases, verbally changing rules does not work. If you live in the same building you can give her notice to not renew her lease, if M2M , give her 30 or 60 day notice, or better yet raise her rent 60.00  

Cheryls2762

Registered:
Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #11 
This is a test... her light doesn't work, so she told us electric bad, My mom went and checked, took lighbulb from her dining room, tried it in her bedroom (where she said it didn't work) and woo hoo magic we got light.  Told her to change the lightbulb.  Which I nicely used to give her when she asked.  She said afraid to use kitchen sink, pipe slightly loose, but nothing leaking, we tightened.  Now claims she get a back up in tub when she use bathroom sink, plumber is on the way today.  Will get pipe rodded but if no problem found I will bill it back to her.  Better hope no toys found in the drain.  She is LOOKING FOR A PROBLEM and can't seem to find one. Making it difficult on herself.  She was allowed to use my PERSONAL PROPERTY, washer and dryer..  that another long story, have always told her not to use after 6pn as it affects my hot water but this has been a problem.  Electrician called to install lock on machines. Washer & Dryer my personal property, not in the lease.  She will no longer be allowed to use the laundry. She is still insisting she is waiting to hear from the tenant's rights organization.  She was advised that she will have to pay a late fee. We will give her one week to do so and then present 5 day notice.  Oh people like her are soooo wonderful.
Marytmary1978

Registered:
Posts: 445
Reply with quote  #12 

Well, it sounds like there are many more issue than just the $60--

 

If there are really that many issues- you should give her the "happy clause" ---

 

"Dear tenant,  as you seem to be unable to conform to the requirements of the lease, and seem to be unsatisfied with the rental unit I would be happy to let you out of the lease w/o penalty with your thirty day notice"

Dean

Registered:
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #13 
NO.  It is not illegal to refuse to accept personal checks.  NO.  You do not have to reimburse your tenant for the cost of cashier's checks.
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Dean Thompson
MonicasLanlord

Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #14 
I put on the application and lease that they agree to have electronic transfer. If they insist they didn't want that, I would take the check. Have late fees defined in lease and charge them.
promarketingforce

Registered:
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #15 

This is a good learning experience for the future for both you and anyone else reading this. 

In most situations, whether you accept something or not, you need to do the same thing for everyone you work with. That is key, you have to have policies in place to protect yourself. If you don't accept personal checks from one person then you can't accept them from anyone, and if you accept them from one person, then you have to from all. 

Otherwise you will get a tenant throwing the word discrimination around, and that is a problem whether you like it or not. 

Don't accept personal checks period, it never ends well. In my limited experience with personal checks when I started out about 15 years ago, the only people wanting to use them were more often then not the ones that didn't have the balance in their checking account which is why they didn't want to just use cash to begin with. 

I would give 60 days notice, and rent the house to someone else just on principle, if the tenant just pushed you around and got 60 bucks out of it, then your relationship now has a precedent you can't afford.

Some of your comments are correct "whats a week of vacancy cost you?", I disagree with that in this case, we aren't just talking about 60.00 here, this is a huge red flag, and I wouldn't work with them any longer based off of this situation alone. Not paying the full amount of rent for any reason is a no no, this is a business, 60.00 matters, and more important yet is having tenants (its healthier to think of them as employees) that you can count on to take care of the property, and pay their bills. When they prove to you that they cannot do one or the other, then move on to someone else every time. 

Also, I'd like to point out my vacancy rate has never slipped below 5% annually, so I'm not just full of hot air. 

Best wishes with your problem, hopefully you get your money, or a new tenants. 








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