Do you take checks from tenants for rent payments? What is your check policy and what do you do when a check bounces? Each week veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi answers questions from other landlords and property managers around the country about their rentals. Here is this week’s question:

Dear Landlord Hank:

Do you take checks from tenants for rent payments? What is your check policy? I have been taking them for years, and just had one bounce for the first time in years. Are more landlords moving to electronic forms of payment to stop check bounces?

–  Eileen

Dear Landlady Eileen,

Yes, I take checks, electronic payments, and cash, in some instances.

All checks must clear prior to tenant move in.

After tenant moves in we take checks. But if one bounces and it is not the banks fault – I’ve had that happen before- then tenant must make cash payments. I have them pay cash for six months, and on time, before we will accept a check from this tenant.

This policy is tempered by my relationship with my tenant.

I have had some tenants for almost 20 years so I have a good idea of some tenants’ character.  I sometimes make exceptions depending upon circumstances.

Some landlords are moving to electronic form of payment to get their funds faster, too.

See a recent post from Hank:

How Important Are Credit Scores In Screening Tenants?

About the author:

“I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta. ”  Visit Hank’s website here.

Dear Landlord Hank: Do you take rental checks from tenants?

Photo credit Rex_Wholster via istockphoto.com