Homefront: ‘Can my landlord file a police complaint if I don't pay a bounced cheque fee?’

The Dubai tenant asked the property management company not to encash his rent cheque

The property management company encashed the tenant's rent cheque despite him informing them about the lack of funds in his bank account. Getty
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I am upset with my landlord’s property management company after my rental cheque bounced because of their carelessness.

I pay an annual rent of Dh42,000, spread across six cheques.

My last rent cheque worth Dh7,000 was dated for August 5. However, I called the company on July 26 and requested them not to encash the cheque because I did not have sufficient funds in my account.

I told them I would pay the rent on August 12 instead. A company representative asked me to send an email to confirm this.

I sent the email to the property management company on August 2. Despite my email, they deposited my cheque at the bank and it bounced.

When I went to the company’s office, I argued with management on why they tried to encash my cheque despite my request not to do so.

I demanded they return my remaining rent cheques and offered to pay the rent in cash instead. However, they insisted I have to first pay a penalty for the bounced cheque.

I refused to pay the bounced cheque fee because I had already notified them about the status of my bank account. The manager was rude to me and I walked out.

It is very important to abide by what is written in your contract when it comes to any terms and conditions or clauses
Mario Volpi, Engel & Volkers

Although I made repeated calls asking for my cheques to be returned, the company refuses to do so until I pay the bounced cheque penalty.

I have withdrawn all money from my bank account because I had to urgently remit funds home.

The company now has two cheques of mine worth Dh7,000 each. Can they lodge a police case against me? MM, Dubai

It is very important to abide by what is written in your contract when it comes to any terms and conditions or clauses.

It is, however, frustrating when individuals do not listen to you, especially when you requested your cheque not to be cashed, which has now caused the issue of a bounced cheque fee.

You obviously cannot stay in the property without paying rent, so if this is due, please go ahead and pay it.

The subject of the bounced cheque fee needs to be resolved. I would suggest a face-to-face meeting is the best option as you previously clearly asked the management not to present the cheque at that time.

I suggest a meeting to discuss this in a polite manner, without any shouting, to explain your situation again.

I’m sure that if the meeting is done calmly, you will find a solution with them to perhaps waive this fee altogether.

Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for more than 35 years in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to mario.volpi@engelvoelkers.com

Updated: November 11, 2021, 4:00 AM