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Old 05-15-2010, 12:45 PM
 
1 posts, read 16,617 times
Reputation: 11

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So this month my rent check bounced, this is the first time in six years living here that I bounced a check. No where is it stated in my lease agreement about bounced/returned check fees. I was notified by my bank not my property manager that the check was returned. Upon calling my property manager she told me that I had to pay a fifty dollar bounced check fee also a late fee and also a serving fee since I got a Notice to Quit left at my front door. When I spoke to the property manager she told me she found out the same day I did that the check was returned and I asked her why didn't she try to contact me and she replied that she had tried several times that day to call me but the number was disconnected. I asked her why didn't she try other means of getting in contact with me because I know they have my work number and also my email address on file. She replied rudely well I don't know if I have those on file. So I asked her to check and she stated that she did. My question is do I have to pay the bounced check fee since it isn't stated in my lease there is one. Also I am willing to pay the late fee since the check did bounce causing the rent to be late but I am not willing to pay the serving fee since she really didn't try to contact me about the check, can I do that?
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:00 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
5,298 posts, read 10,419,244 times
Reputation: 4043
The LL or acting agent is NOT responsible to respond towards a tenents "bounced check". The tenent is the person to blame for the check problem...after all who wrote the check with questionable funds payable upon demand (bank deposit).

There could be different reasons for the "funds" not being in the bank at the time of check being deposited...example of a deposit not being credited to an account or money being in float process.

When in business I excepted a check in payment for services rendered and upon deposit the funds were not available and the customers check "bounced". Is this my fault...answer is NO.

In the OP case it is their fault and the LL or agent is not responsible and any fees acrued for the inconvience is the responsibility of the check writer. Bottom line...don't write a check unless 100% sure the funds are there.
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:36 PM
JS1
 
1,899 posts, read 4,047,945 times
Reputation: 1495
Don't pay a fee that isn't in your lease or state law.
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Illinois
2,813 posts, read 2,255,063 times
Reputation: 5038
I would personally pay what the LL has asked you to pay, just to not make a stink. You did bounce a check. I'm sure somewhere in the lease there is wording pretaining to late rent and charges connected to late rent.

I'm sure the $50 fee is what her bank charges her plus any administrative work associated with handling a bounced check.
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
5,593 posts, read 10,976,514 times
Reputation: 4991
I think a $50 bounced check fee is excessive. Most businesses in my area (of all types) charge $25. That is what we charge. The bank actually charges us between $5 and $15 (depending on which bank). Wells Fargo charges us $7.00 I think. I've never seen a bank charge a customer $50 for depositing a check that was returned for NSF.

Late fees on bounced checks are a grey area to me. How long did they have the check before depositing it? If they deposited it the within 48 hours of you giving it to them, then I agree, you owe them late fees through when you make good on the rent. If, however, they held the check for a week before depositing it, then you shouldn't be charged late fees for those days. You should still pay for late fees from when the check was deposited until you make good on the rent.

Just my $.02

Honestly though, it is also 100% your responsibility to let the LL know if your phone number changes. If I had a tenant bounce a check on me and their phone number was disconnected, I would probably serve notice also. I would send them an email if I had an email address for them, but I would start the process. I don't call tenants at work numbers except in the case of a major emergency. Bouncing a check and having a disconnected phone number is not a good combination. It sends the impression that you are out of money and won't be able to make rent.
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,553 posts, read 21,297,334 times
Reputation: 6539
Pico, I agree with everything Lacerta wrote. Everything that occured including all of the fees and charges stem from your failure to have adequate funds in your account. There is no reason the landlord should have to eat any of those costs. Take responsibility for your actions.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:30 AM
 
8,617 posts, read 10,008,747 times
Reputation: 4385
Quote:
Originally Posted by JS1 View Post
Don't pay a fee that isn't in your lease or state law.
And get turned on the the local DA's office....Good move....

In case you didn't know it's still against the law to write hot checks...
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
5,593 posts, read 10,976,514 times
Reputation: 4991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston3 View Post
And get turned on the the local DA's office....Good move....

In case you didn't know it's still against the law to write hot checks...
I almost mentioned that, but in Idaho at least, its only illegal to write bad checks on purpose (as in maliciously). If you make a habit of it, or if you write a whole bunch in one day, knowing there is only $10 in your account, that is illegal. If a check bounces because you weren't paying attention and were $5 short, that isn't illegal in Idaho. I don't know about other state laws.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:41 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
5,298 posts, read 10,419,244 times
Reputation: 4043
In having a business transaction with a person on excepting his check in payment for a service...mentioned he understood my situation re checks as he had a desk drawer full of bad checks. I questioned his answer and he gave me his ID card (Police Lt in ***** city).

In actuality the police do not act on a occasional overdraft or a person doing bad math deductions but are more concerned with the acct closed or excessive check writings with obvious negative bank balances. The answer is intent to create fraud.

Bottom line is to watch a persons check book balance before writing and signing a check.

Steve
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:04 PM
JS1
 
1,899 posts, read 4,047,945 times
Reputation: 1495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston3 View Post
And get turned on the the local DA's office....Good move....

In case you didn't know it's still against the law to write hot checks...
So what? That has nothing to do with the subject at hand, which is fees the LL is making up.
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