Landlord wants cash - is this OK?

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  • Landlord wants cash - is this OK?

    I rent a room in my landlady's house which she and her family also live in. I have exclusive use of my room and en-suite, but share the kitchen. We had an initial 6-month excluded tenancy agreement but are now past that period, so if I understand correctly the agreement is now according to common law.

    I paid the deposit by cheque and the rent for every month by cheque. There has never been problem with this, all my cheques are good.

    However, my landlady has now requested that from now on I pay the rent in cash. She says she is happy to give a receipt.

    This request was made shortly after she told me that her husband might be made redundant.

    I have a few questions:

    1. Is it her right to have the rent in cash? Or is it a request that I can refuse? Our original agreement (which we are now outside the period of) does not specify method.

    2. If I pay in cash, what information should be on the receipt?

    3. Is it any of my business why she wants the rent in cash? Suppose she wants cash in order to reduce her documentable income for tax / benefits purposes: could the government ever come after me, for such things as her tax arrears, or could they accuse me of assisting in fraud?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hilaire View Post
    I rent a room in my landlady's house which she and her family also live in. I have exclusive use of my room and en-suite, but share the kitchen. We had an initial 6-month excluded tenancy agreement but are now past that period, so if I understand correctly the agreement is now according to common law.

    I paid the deposit by cheque and the rent for every month by cheque. There has never been problem with this, all my cheques are good.

    However, my landlady has now requested that from now on I pay the rent in cash. She says she is happy to give a receipt.

    This request was made shortly after she told me that her husband might be made redundant.

    I have a few questions:

    1. Is it her right to have the rent in cash? Or is it a request that I can refuse? Our original agreement (which we are now outside the period of) does not specify method.

    2. If I pay in cash, what information should be on the receipt?

    3. Is it any of my business why she wants the rent in cash? Suppose she wants cash in order to reduce her documentable income for tax / benefits purposes: could the government ever come after me, for such things as her tax arrears, or could they accuse me of assisting in fraud?
    Hi

    As I understand it, she does not have to accept cheques unless the agreement says so or unless she agrees to accept this payment method. I believe there is case law to the effect that the landlord's prior willingness to accept this payment method cannot be unilaterally revoked.

    With regard to her motives, don't necessarily assume the tax evasion motive. It is quite common for people on low incomes to revert to cash transactions because anything that goes through their bank account goes first of all to pay of bank debts and that may not be their priority.

    There are various pro formas for receipts on the web, but all you need is sufficient information to show how much was paid, when it was paid and for what purpose (presumably rent for a given period).

    Good luck.

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    • #3
      I agree. Despite money laundering phobia syndrome, cash is legal tender!
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you both!

        Comment


        • #5
          Not directly related to the OP, relevant to the topic.

          I really hate when landlords ask their tenants to pay the rent in cash.

          When prospective tenants are interested in a flat. I ask them about the reference they can provide e.g. Do your bank accounts show payments for rent?. And they say "no, I pay my landlord in cash". So how can I tell if the tenant is telling your the truth?. They will provide me with a mobile number of their landlord. I had to reject one tenant, because, I had no confidence if I was speaking to the landlord or a tenant's friend....

          I just wish landlords would take payment via bank transfer.....

          Comment


          • #6
            Isn't there some movement afoot to do away with cheques in the future?
            ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Paragon View Post
              Isn't there some movement afoot to do away with cheques in the future?
              Yes, sadly:

              http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8414341.stm
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                APACS on all their houses.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment

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