Bounced Check

When I have tenants that are roommates, I let each of them send their portion of the rent. For example, if 4 students where renting a 4 bedroom unit for $840, each roommate's portion would be $210 and I would accept a check for $210 from each of them. The best legal approach is to insist on one check which would require the roommates to pay one roommate who would then write a check to me for $840. This would be a requirement if I were managing other people's property. Realistically, If one roommate's check bounces, it is highly likely that the $840 check would bounce. This causes tension among the roommates! I let each one pay individually so only $210 bounces and I still have $630 to help cover my payments. When a check bounced this month, I called the tenant with the news. He acted surprised and said there should have been enough money to cover it. He said he would send me another check. (I'm thinking that another bad check isn't going to help much.) I just told him to straighten out his finances and give me a call in a couple of days with his plan. Over the years, this has always worked out. It has been a couple of days and I haven't heard from him and he has moved out and there is only one month left on the lease so this might be an attempt to cheat me. I'll call him tomorrow and try to determine if it was on purpose or an accident that he intends to correct. If I think it was intentional, I'll discuss some of the implications of writing bad checks, poor credit and a bad tenant report. As a landlord, we have several tools to help in this situation.

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