Although FN 5.11 – Electronic Funds Transfer commentary and policy in Finance and Accounting PolicyPro published by First Reference outlines the many benefits, it is easy to take EFTs for granted. A business in a recent Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) hearing had a close call, which highlights one of the practical benefits of using EFTs for customer receipts. Read the case CEL-44920-14-RV (Re), at http://canlii.ca/t/gg4f9).
The tenant in the case was able to avoid eviction during an earlier (LTB) proceeding, by promising to pay $6,290 by December 23 2014, or face eviction. The landlord came back to the LTB in January 2015, alleging that the tenant had not paid. The tenant insisted that he had paid. This led to an impasse – the sheriff could not proceed with the eviction unless it could be established that the tenant had not paid.
The tenant presented photocopied online bank statements showing a $6,290 e-transfer. The landlord presented original bank statements which did not reflect any receipt of $6,290. The LTB then asked the tenant to log into his bank account so that the LTB could review original records. The tenant claimed that he could not access the account because it belonged to his wife, and she was out of town and unreachable. Here’s where EFT brought it all together. In addition to providing original bank records that did not reflect the alleged transfer, the savvy landlord was able to provide a website printout of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from the tenant’s bank. The FAQs explained that it was impossible to transfer more than $2,000 in any one e-transfer. The tenant could not explain how he came to have records for a $6,290 transaction, when the transaction limit was $2,000.
Guess who won and was able to have the eviction order enforced with immediate effect? Had it not been for EFT, the outcome might have been different for the business. It likely would not have been as easy to disprove the tenant’s claim, if the alleged payment was by cheque or cash.
To view the sample policy FN 5.11 – Electronic Funds Transfer take a free trial of Finance and Accounting PolicyPro.
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