Can an apartment complex can force tenants to pay their rent electronically?

They will not accept checks or money orders. I am forced to pay online.

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If it is not public housing and if the lease either specifically requires electronic payment or gives the landlord the right to specificy how payment is made they can do this. But without authority in/from the lease, they cannot--that is, they cannot add a new requirement or term to the lease you previously signed, mandating the form of payment. (On renewal, they should be able to make this change and require this, if they want.) I believe that in public housing, the landlord is obligated to take payment from any source, in any legal format. All the above said, if the landlord is determined to push the issue, it is probably easier, cheaper, and less disruptive to pay the landlord the way the landlord wants to be paid, then risk litigation.

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