Q: Our landlord has instituted a policy of online rent payments only, using a bill-paying service on the Internet. We object to this, as we don't have a computer at home and would rather use a check. Can we refuse to go along with the new policy? --Marvin and Gayle D.
A: If you refuse to pay rent online and the landlord rejects your check, you may get hit with an eviction lawsuit for nonpayment of rent. But if you are renting with a fixed-term lease, your landlord's unilateral change in an important term (how rent is paid) would probably be ruled illegal by a judge. The essence of a lease is that its terms remain in place until it expires or both parties agree to make a change.