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Tip #128:  Cover the Bases

writing a check

Bad checks are a reality in this economy, and the best defense may be a good offense. 

Some standard lease forms are wimpy when it comes to bad checks.

For instance, standard language may require that you file a lawsuit against the tenant before you can collect fees, may not prevent you from having to accept another check from that same tenant, or may not provide the right to evict a tenant for bouncing checks.

If your lease doesn’t spell out the consequences when a tenant bounces a check,  talk to an attorney so you’ll be protected the next time around.


See last weeks Landlord Quick Tip. American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

  • Dr. Science

    Not only do I spell out that a “bad check fee” (or NSF fee) will be an automatic $50.00, but, also, that if this happens during the time that other late charges apply, that those charges will kick in as well. I had a tenant that realized that if he was late, he thought that writing a bad check costs him less than regular late fees, until he had the NSF + late fees apply. Thought he was being “clever”.

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