No Cheques: No Keys for Residential Leases



My client takes possession of her rental unit today and meets with the listing agent for keys. She has proof of tenant’s insurance and utilities in her name – but has forgotten the post-dated cheques in the moving truck. The truck isn’t scheduled to arrive for 3 – 4 hours. The agent declines providing her with the keys without the post-dated cheques. I tell him the landlord cannot demand post-dated cheques; but, he says there’s an agreement in place to provide post-dated cheques. We go back and forth about allowing her access but he refuses.

What is the appropriate course of action?


The Residential Tenancies Act, “RTA” supercedes other arrangements. Any provision to the contrary of the RTA is unenforceable. The RTA does not permit the Landlord to require post-dated cheques. The RTA does permit the Tenant to offer post-dated cheques.

In this case, the Tenant offered post-dated cheques in order to induce the Landlord to select them for the tenancy in preference to others. The offer to Lease specified the post-dated cheques, as did the actual Lease. So, those cheques are supposed to be delivered prior to possession. That was the deal. Delays and the moving van aside, the post-dated cheques were still to have been delivered prior to possession of the premises, no matter what.

If the cheques are enroute and they will be there in a few hours, so will the keys to the premises. The Landlord is within his rights to insist upon the delivery of the cheques prior to parting with possession of the property.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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