My landlord had a postdated check for a 1 month rent, which he cashed 3 weeks before the date on the check. My bank did not block the transaction and the check was cleared. Was my landlord breaking the law, or violating the terms of the lease? Is there any legal action I can take against my landlord?
No, this concept of post dating a check is an old wive's tail. A bank, when presented a negotiable instrument duly signed will honor that demand for money
The reason that one should never give a post dated check is this: When a post dated check is presented, the presumption (according to UCC Code) is that the maker of the check simply put the wrong date on the check, and not that they intended to post date the check. Sadly, neither your landlord or the bank did anything wrong by honoring your check prior to the date shown. Sometimes you can avoid this problem by writing 'Void until_______" whatever date you intend the check to be negotiated, but that may not guaranty that it won't be cashed prior to that date either. Best rule is NEVER give someone a post dated check.
Sara Howard has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 1983. Her practice concentrates in adoption and family law as well as real estate law & landlord tenant matters . She is currently a member of the Chicago Bar Association's Adoption Law Committee and a former bank attorney . . Any response to a question on AVVO does not constitute an attorney client relationship, but is general information based on the limited information provided. Free initial consultations are offered.
If the lanlord agreed not to cash the check, you could possibly have an arguement that he breached that agreement (oral contract). However, whether such an agreement is an oral contract where you are would need to be investigated. I am not sure of the answer regarding whether or not such an oral agreement would be enforceable as an oral contract. Generally, the Statute of Frauds (740 ILCS 80/2) requires the following to be in writing to be eforceable: (1) any contract for the sale of lands; and (2) any contract for a longer term than one year. Since an agreement not to cash a check is not there, then the oral agreement ot to cash the checm nmay be enforceable. Please do not take this as correct. Just some info to help you get started with some research if you want to pursue. You could get an attorney to help, but unfortunately it may cost more than it is worth. I agree with the other answers that the bank did nothing wrong and you likely have no complaint with them. You may have a complaint against the bank if you told them in advance about the postdated check.
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