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Paying Rent and Utilities

In Canada, rent is usually due on the first day of every month and is paid one of three ways:

Paying Rent in Cash

When paying your rent in cash, always be sure to get a receipt for the full amount. You will also need to think about keeping all of your important documents like these receipts in a safe and secure location. The last thing that you want to happen is for you to pay your rent, then your landlord has a dispute with you and you can’t prove the payment.

Post-dated cheques

These are cheques filled in with a future date. For example, many landlords will ask for 12 cheques post-dated for the first day of each month for the next 12 months. Post-dated cheques cannot be cashed until the date written on them, and you can cancel uncashed cheques by calling your bank. This is a very common way of paying for rent. It allows you some control over the payments, while still giving a guarantee to you landlord. It also creates a paper trail so that you can prove when and how a rent payment was made.

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Certified cheques

These are cheques guaranteed by your bank. Many landlords ask for certified cheques for the first and last month’s rent.

Utility Bills

Some rentals will include some or all of your utilities, such as electricity, heat, water, cable TV or telephone. If they are not included in your rent, you are responsible for paying these utilities yourself. If you pay for them, always pay by the due date or you will be charged interest. If you miss several payments, the utility may cut off your service and report this to the credit bureaus.

Image: Stuart Miles,