Landlords fear breaking privacy laws

Faced with the threat of large fines and legal costs, more landlords are choosing to continue using cheques instead of electronic methods as rental payments.
With fraud cases more sophisticated, landlords fear that they may unknowingly break their legal obligation to protect personal information by using electronic systems.
“Accidental (or intentional) disclosure of a tenant’s personal information could have serious consequences, so minimizing that risk exposure is a highly desirable benefit,” explains Christopher Seepe, a commercial real estate broker with Aztech Realty.
He says the cost of using some electronic payments, such as credit cards, is another mitigating factor for landlords, with some financial institutions charging between one and two per cent for each transaction. “That is a huge cost if you have a lot of doors,” says Seepe. “Plus, the renters have to give their personal and credit information. That is a big responsibility and risk for landlords.”
Seepe adds that many financial institutions are trying to dissuade investors from using cheques as it is costly for both sides. “There are many third party companies that can provide electronic payment services," he says. "Landlords need to be more mindful of privacy laws as they could be unknowingly getting themselves into trouble.”

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