Third-party rent payments can come in many forms, such as individuals like family members or caretakers, social services agencies, or programs spawned by local municipalities or nonprofits. Many landlords have been reluctant to accept payments made on behalf of others, for concerns that a third party would claim a right to possession of the unit.

AB 2219 has assuaged landlord concerns by providing that a landlord can require a third party to sign a document acknowledging that the transaction does not make the payor a tenant. The law amends Civil Code §1947.3. Although this law permits under certain circumstances a tenant to pay through a party, the landlord or his or agent is not required to accept the rent payment tendered by a third party unless an acknowledgment is inked to the effect that no new tenancy is created.

Don’t worry, we have the acknowledgment prepared and as a professional courtesy to our clients, have uploaded it to our website, along with other helpful resources.

Can a landlord demand cash payments?

Although the law allows the tenant to pay rent and deposit of security by at least one form of payment that is neither cash nor electronic funds transfer, an exception is carved out for bounced checks in Civil Code §1947.3 (2), which reads:

A landlord or a landlord’s agent may demand or require cash as the exclusive form of payment of rent or deposit of security if the tenant has previously attempted to pay the landlord or landlord’s agent with a check drawn on insufficient funds or the tenant has instructed the drawee to stop payment on a check, draft, or order for the payment of money. The landlord may demand or require cash as the exclusive form of payment only for a period not exceeding three months following an attempt to pay with a check on insufficient funds or following a tenant’s instruction to stop payment. If the landlord chooses to demand or require cash payment under these circumstances, the landlord shall give the tenant a written notice stating that the payment instrument was dishonored and informing the tenant that the tenant shall pay in cash for a period determined by the landlord, not to exceed three months, and attach a copy of the dishonored instrument to the notice. The notice shall comply with Section 827 if demanding or requiring payment in cash constitutes a change in the terms of the lease.

If you have any questions surrounding this law or other terms and conditions of your tenancy, contact our office for informed advice.

Bornstein Law