However, if the tenant writes the check with the intent to have funds in the account on the date that the check is postdated for, there is no intent to commit fraud or pass a worthless check and therefore no illegal activity has technically taken place.
Accepting a check that is postdated may provide the tenant with a legal defense that negates criminal intent even if the check doesn't clear.
Waiting to cash a check that has been postdated provides the tenant with time to make other living arrangements, move out or otherwise abort the lease agreement.
In situations in which the tenant can be trusted, the landlord has known the tenant to be an honest, on-time payer or the landlord otherwise believes that the money will be in the tenant's account on the date the check posts, accepting a postdated check can be beneficial.
The Uniform Commercial Code states that a bank may honor a postdated check provided the check is otherwise safe to cash and the account owner has not provided the bank with "reasonable notice of the postdating.
This means that a tenant may legally postdate a check to you and that you may even be able to cash it when you receive it, but if the bank has been notified of the postdating you will have to wait until the date listed on the check instrument before you may receive the funds.
While it may be a crime for a tenant to write a check when there are insufficient funds in his account to cover the check, California's worthless check laws may not cover a landlord if a postdated check was accepted.
According to California's bad check law, writing a check with the intent to commit fraud or knowingly writing a check when there are insufficient funds to cover the full amount of the check are both illegal.As a landlord, collecting a check that has been postdated could be dangerous.The tenant may know that he or she will not have the money in time, the check could have a stop-payment placed on it, or the check may bounce.A postdated check does show the tenant's will to pay, and if the funds are in the account on the date the check is cashed the landlord will receive the money.If the check bounces the landlord may have certain civil remedies to help recuperate the promised funds.Mary Lamphere writes travel, real estate, wellness, health and business content for a variety of online portals.