In Canada you don’t have to accept cash, or any method of payment you don’t want to. For me, being a landlord, this is handy.
About every two years we get a new wave of creative counterfeiting coming through. We also had a caretaker start stealing from us. (I’ll post the story of how we caught them another day….what an idiot!) When you think about it, having a caretaker with as much as $40,000 cash in their suite can be a huge liability for us and a personal risk for them. How’d we solve the problem?
We don’t accept cash for rent payments!
We’re also really strict about it. No cash, period. And we have refused cash, served an eviction notice, gone to the Residential Tenancies Dispute Resolution Service, and had them uphold our right to go make the tenant go get a money order. (Costs about a buck at Safeway) That said, we do have an interac terminal in the office, which is 100% awesome.
What does the law say about it?
Perhaps a lawyer out there can find the exact line for me, but this one is directly from the Bank of Canada’s Legal Facts box.
Payment methods must be mutually acceptable to both parties (e.g. credit or debit card, cheque). Therefore, retailers do not break the law if they refuse bills.
So, to take that one step farther, we don’t accept cheques (or checks if you’re American) after a tenant has had one returned as NSF (non-sufficient funds). The same goes for pre-authorized withdrawls (PAW).
And finally, for the love of all things Holy, don’t accept credit card payments! That’s a great way to screw your tenants over by exploiting their weaknesses.