My Tenant Bounced Their First Month’s rent Check… What To Do?

November 7th, 2012 · 3 Comments · Rental Property

I just got this email a few moments ago…

I have a tenant who gave me a cheque for the first month that bounced and then I talked to her and she said she didn’t know what happened and would send me another one. She mailed another one and that bounced too.

What can I do?

Poor Landlord

Rachelle Answers

First of all, why are you accepting a check for first month’s rent? In the future, insist on certified check, money order or even cash before you hand over keys. The first and last month’s rent are the only two months you are guaranteed to get as a landlord. You may as well take advantage of that.

I’m afraid you have caught a rotten fish with this tenant and your next step is to begin the eviction process. If you are in Ontario, you may find the first form called the N-4 at the Landlord & Tenant Board website  My pointer for this form is to remember that the day you deliver it doesn’t count so I always count up 15 days from the day I’m going to deliver it.

If you are not from Ontario… then here’s the list of “Landlord & Tenant Boards from other provinces”


Introduction to Interac e-transfer

Interac E-tranfer has been a wonderful new tool for my business. Many years ago when it first came out I was introduced to it by a tenant who wanted to apply for a condo. I do not process applications without a deposit so he offered to send the deposit by Interac rather than meeting me to give me cash or a certified check.  If she’s mailing you checks then I’m assuming that you’re not close by and so then this is the next best way to get tenants to pay your rent. Most of my tenant pay by post-dated checks, the rest pay this way.

You don’t have to give out your bank account number, just your email and a password. The tenant gets a receipt and so do you. The money goes directly into your bank account.

To Recap

1- Begin legal process, in Ontario fill out N-4. 

2 – Don’t accept anymore rubber checks

3 – Try to set up payments through Interac which is immediate, secure and doesn’t require you to chase the tenant.

4 – Drink a beer and try and chill out for the next 15 days.

5 – Email Jeff Shabes – Paralegal Extraordinaire after day 15 if… she hasn’t paid.

Try not to worry this too shall pass. (Like a kidney stone) Happy Wednesday!!!





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3 Comments so far ↓

  • gokou3

    A comment on the Interac money transfer. A few years ago I had an ebay business. I accepted an Interac payment which was later reversed. I was told that it was paid from a hacked account of some sort. Of course by then I have shipped the item already.

    Eventually, after a long fight, I still got the money but I think it was in the form of compensation from the bank. Things may have changed now, but all I wanted to say from my experience is that Interac is not necessarily a “guaranteed” payment. 99.9% perhaps, but not 100%, just like money order / certified cheque.

  • beenthere

    Sorry about your experience with your “Professional Tenant”.
    I hope you resolved the issue by now. I had the same experience and i am currently getting checks from her Company( garnishee).

    If you have not done anything by now, these are the things you can do.

    1) As soon as your check is bounced, Serve the N4.
    2) If no payments, get a date on Landlord and Tenants board for a hearing. (She probably will not attend to the hearing)
    3) Once you get your order from the board, directly go to Small Claims court with the other required documents. (Check the website of the court.)
    4) Then serve the garnishment statement to the tenant and to your tenant’s employer.

    I did not ask for a SIN when she moved in (mistake #1) but she was stupid enough to post her new work place on her Facebook profile 😉
    That’s how I found her.

    now you must already know what to do next time;
    1) Get the first and the last month’s rent
    2) If possible ask for the SIN.(this will help you to find her employer via collection agencies).