Can my landlord make me pay rent by pre-authorized charges?

No. Your landlord can’t make you pay by post-dated cheque, by pre-authorized debit or credit card charges, or any other form of automatic payment. This is true even if your agreement says you must pay this way.

You can continue paying rent by any other method set in your agreement. If your agreement doesn’t say how to pay, you can continue paying the way you usually do.

Once the way you pay has been set, it can’t be changed unless both you and the landlord agree. So if your landlord wants to change the way you pay your rent, you don’t have to agree.

If you or your landlord are concerned about physical distancing or isolation during the COVID-19 emergency, you can discuss ways of paying your rent safely. If you and your landlord change the way you pay rent, try to put your agreement in writing. Or keep a copy of the email or text that shows what you agreed to. 

No matter how you pay your rent, it’s a good idea to ask your landlord for a receipt each time you pay. This will help you prove that you paid your rent if the landlord says later you didn’t pay. The law says that if you ask for a receipt, your landlord must give you one free of charge.

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