So your landlord is requesting ‘certified funds’ before you can move in. But what does that mean?
Certified funds refer to a type of payment that is guaranteed for clearance by the issuing company. This notion of ‘guaranteed for clearance’ is particularly helpful with apartments, because, as one can imagine, the landlord needs to know that funds he/she collects will definitely clear the bank (especially before a new tenant moves in).
Certified Funds in the Apartment Rental Industry
As mentioned, certified funds guarantee that the landlord will receive payment. This is different from non-certified funds, which are basically just a personal check. If a landlord goes to deposit a personal check, there is the risk that the check will bounce and payment will be denied. By the time the landlord realizes the check has bounced, they have already given the tenant the keys! Yikes!
The landlord is out of luck. Hence, certified funds come into play. With certified funds, payments are guaranteed to clear by the company certifying the funds.
Types of Certified Funds
While you should confirm with your specific landlord their expectations on certified funds, some acceptable forms of certified funds generally include:
This is typically issued by a bank and proves that the tenant’s bank account has sufficient funds to make the payment. The teller may set aside the amount the check is written for so it is available when a check is cashed.
A cashier’s check is issued by the tenant’s actual bank. For this option, the bank withdraws the funds from the account and guarantees the amount written on the check. Landlords need not worry about the payment because the funds have already been withdrawn for payment.
Money orders can be issued by a bank, convenience store, or post office. The tenant transfers the funds to the issuing authority to receive the money order, which is then given to the landlord. Since the tenant has already paid, there is no risk to the landlord.
Online wire transfers from the tenant’s bank account to the landlord may also be an acceptable payment. There might be a waiting period involved and also hefty fees, so this is typically not used in the rental industry.
Cash is another option for receiving rental payments every month, which can also be extremely easy. However, there may be certain difficulties and disputes associated with cash rental payments such as lack of proof, so it is not as popular as other options.
In a hurry, you can also watch a video below to summarize this article:
It is good to know the various payment options you have at your disposal, so you can choose the most convenient one for you and your landlord. Happy Renting.