Tenant wants to pay cash and get receipt

39 Replies

I make reciepts for all my tenants. Some pay with cash and are not picky when they get a reciept. One demands a reciept when she tells me payment is ready even though it is a check. Not sure why and I guess I could fight it in that it is not required with a check and by my lease they must pay by check or money order.

I like cash I have no problem with it. I always make sure to count it right in front of them to show that it is the right amount. The only hassel is that I need to remember my reciept book and write one out right there.

In Maryland , cash payments must get a written receipt.

"This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private."

I know myself, so for me personally I don't take cash because I'll loose it, spend in the candy machine, or my kids will sneak it out of my wallet. Plus I don't like carrying cash.

I have a tenant who wants to pay cash so I went the paynearme.com option. They pay cash at the merchant of their choosing and I get an email, they get a receipt, I don't have to arrange a time for them to meet me to accept it and I don't have to go to the bank. The tenant pays the $3 service fee.

Cash doesn't bounce.

I give all my tenants a receipt every time they pay. Cash, check, money order, it doesn't matter. You especially need it for cash since there is no paper trail.

I have one tenant that pays in cash every now and then. You ALWAYS want to provide a receipt when you get paid in cash. You don't want to get into a court room battle of the tenant saying they always paid in cash and you have no documentation to support or refute it.

Tenant deposits cash into my bank account and the teller receipt is what they get. If that isn't good enough then they need to find someone else to do business with. BTW it costs them an extra $30 if they don't use my debiting service.

I certainly don't want to be walking around holding a big wad of cash and I don't like the idea of my tenants doing it either. I'm out rent if someone whacks them over the head for their rent money.

I have a few tenants that pay cash every month, I always give them a receipt. One tenant has a small notepad, every month I just write out a 'receipt' in the next page of his little notebook. I then head straight to the bank. Never had a problem!

I'm not a big fan of accepting cash, our policy is the only thing we take cash for is application fees. But if you do accept cash, offering receipts is the right thing to do.

There is absolutely no way I'd be accepting cash for rent. I've done it. But then I tell them no more.

1) I don't want anybody coming to my house.
2) I'm not going to pick up rent either.

I put in my leases that absolutely no rent will be paid or collected in person. It must either be mailed or submitted via my online payment service. No exceptions!

I've had somebody mail me cash once. They were a young couple and I had to let them know thats not a good idea. :-)

I've also had a tenant leave the cash under my door mat. $1,400 in an envelope under my door mat. I could very easily have said it was gone. Why would you do that?

Make them get a money order and mail that. Then there is some recourse if that gets lost. You can get them for a couple of bucks. Or better still, require them to pay it via an online payment service. $2 a transation and you can cover it so its free for them.

I'm moving more and more of my tenants onto the service. They love it. No stamps. No envelopes. No worrying about finding the address. No worrying about the mail delivery being slow. Its instant.

Just say NO to cash. There's really no reason in the world to accept it. But if you do, I'd agree with the other posters, you have to provide a receipt. If it isn't a law in your state, it absolutely should be. Otherwise, you could turn around and file for eviction and they'd have zero proof they paid you. Judge would believe the landlord in a he said she said case.

I pick up rent from a few of my tenants who pay cash and give them a receipt and head straight to the bank.

OfficeMax sells receipt books and I would suggest everyone keep one in their glove box. I don't pick up rent and especially don't tell tenants where I live, but sometimes you might be at the house for some reason and they offer to pay you. I also accept cash for the security deposit and first months rent we sign the lease. A receipt is good for that.

Originally posted by @Richard C. :
"This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private."

You're not actually legally required to accept cash.


Even mailing a money order or cert check is risky. With my tenants who dont have checking accounts they deposit directly at bank branch

The biggest problem with accepting cash is you have to take time out of your schedule to meet with them. I don't have time for that and if you think you do then you're not going to go as far as others in this business.

Give them your bank account number and let them deposit it. They'll get indisputable proof of the deposit from the teller.

I have one tenant that pays in cash, I just make sure to deposit the money without any other cash I might have. When you go to refinance a property the under writter will often ask to see all payments for a few properties for the past 12 months, you want to easily show the cash deposits are the right amount paid at about the right time so they don't question if its really the rent for that property

@Brandon Hicks

There is a flaw in your system. If the tenant(s) even deposit $.01 into your bank account, or any other partial amount, it will cause you to restart the eviction process. Many tenants know this and use it to "work" the system. Don't ever give your bank account information out to your tenants IMO.

@Jonathan H. this varies by state and sometimes even City. In my state they must pay in full to stop the eviction. Know your local law.

Also my bank allows me to prevent people from making a deposit into my account so they have to meet me to make payment if I so choose.

@Bill S.

You are correct. My phrasing of the past comment was mis-stated. It was meant to be more of a warning to check state and local laws. I should have mentioned this - thank you for bringing that important distinction up.

PS: My area is one of the areas that does not require full deposit to restart the eviction process.

@Drew Denham

Well I am a new landlord, just 6 months now. But my understanding is you want/need to be to prove and show rent payments for future investments. When you get ready to buy another rental the bank might want to see consistent rent payments from your tenants. I understand the Schedule E tax form but I also ways give a receipt. Also I could give a good tenant a good reference if they ever wanted to go rent somewhere else with a good payment history.

Originally posted by @Jonathan H. :
@Brandon Hicks

There is a flaw in your system. If the tenant(s) even deposit $.01 into your bank account, or any other partial amount, it will cause you to restart the eviction process. Many tenants know this and use it to "work" the system. Don't ever give your bank account information out to your tenants IMO.

If you accept checks for the rent payment, you endorse the reverse of the check and put your account number there when you deposit that check. The tenant can retrieve that from the reverse side of the check image. So you give out the banking info already when you accept any check.

@Drew Denham there already is a paper trail. You probably have a lease or some kind of agreement with the tenant. The tenant likely gets a w2. You will want documentation if you want to get a loan so that you can prove income. If you are trying to avoid paying taxes on it, you are mistaken to think the IRS could not prove you were paid if they really wanted to and a receipt to the tenant would be the least of your worries if they come after you.

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