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  1. #1
    AChamberlain is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Uncashed rent checks

    What is the name of your state? Michigan

    My landlord never cashed any of my rent checks the whole time I rented from him. I moved out 5 years ago, and never received my deposit back either. The landlord told me I'd get it back as soon as he "found and cashed" all my checks. Well, 5 years later, now, he has apparently found them. Of course they are all invalid; a personal check is only good for a year. He has acknowledged that he does have the checks, so I did pay on time, and he now wants me to write him a big check for about $9,000. Do I have to pay my rent AGAIN??
  2. #2
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    Is this one of those Pull my leg post , or are you real ?

    In any event you said " Checks " , therego you had a " Bank Account " , and should know how to handle it .

    How does your " Other checks " relate to your " Bank account " ?

    You never once questioned your Balances in your " Bank account " , Budget ?

    Please ...... Bottom line , it's your responsibility to " make sure " your bills are paid ...
  3. #3
    AChamberlain is offline Junior Member
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    Hey genius...(blonde lebinese)

    of course I knew what my account balance was- my landlord always told me
    he "didn't have time" to cash my checks. I'm not pulling anyone's leg, although I know it's wierd. As to my responsibility to make sure my bills are paid, what else can I do but write the checks & put them in the man's hand? There's a time limit on personal checks for a reason.

    Anyone out there who knows what they're talking about?
  4. #4
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    of course I knew what my account balance was- my landlord always told me
    What a piece of cake !! Your landlord told you what your " Bank account " balance was ??

    You sure don't know what your talking about .

    take a business course that involves writing checks , and balancing bank accounts .
  5. #5
    longneck is offline Member
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    if what you say is true (i've never heard the one year thing before) and you have WRITTEN proof that you paid the LL on time, then you should be OK when you get to court.

    disclaimer: this info is based SOLELY on the information in your post, so if you're leaving anything out, then i retract my info.
  6. #6
    panzertanker is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AChamberlain
    What is the name of your state? Michigan

    My landlord never cashed any of my rent checks the whole time I rented from him. I moved out 5 years ago, and never received my deposit back either. The landlord told me I'd get it back as soon as he "found and cashed" all my checks. Well, 5 years later, now, he has apparently found them. Of course they are all invalid; a personal check is only good for a year. He has acknowledged that he does have the checks, so I did pay on time, and he now wants me to write him a big check for about $9,000. Do I have to pay my rent AGAIN??
    1. You paid your rent in the form of a check
    2. Your landlord NEVER cashed one of your rent checks
    3. 5 YEARS later your ex-landlord wants the money
    4. You expect us to believe any of this crap???

    Quote Originally Posted by AChamberlain
    Do I have to pay my rent AGAIN??
    By your own admission, you NEVER paid your rent the FIRST time, let alone AGAIN.

    Giving somebody a piece of paper (a Check) does not constitute "paying your rent".
    Having the person cash the check; now that IS paying your rent!
    I have noticed that even intelligent people ask assinine questions every now and again.
    Disclaimer: I know a few lawyers. None of them is named panzertanker.
  7. #7
    Devedander is offline Member
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    Was this guy supposed to go force money into his managers mouth?

    I believe that if you tender payment for a debt in a manor acceptable to the debtor (ie he must accept checks to pay him with check, must accept cash to pay with cash etc) and the debtor refuses to take payment in a form which (s)he has specified they accept and which is valid in the state you live in, then your responbility ends as you have tried in good faith to make payment. Recieving a check and failing to cash it is basically refusing payment.

    I would check into the length of time a debt can be considered live in your area (perhaps even with the housing board) and see if the fact that he has waited so long to collect renders those debts void.

    Also I would probably just let him keep the deposit if you no longer owe the rent (assuming you were due more in rent than the deposit is worth). Regardless of legality I think it would be hard for a small claims court to find in favor of a tenant who got out of multiple months rent already.

    And I suspect that a lot of posters on this particular forum are managers or owners themselves and so why you are recieving rather nasty feedback; but it is true that you never actually PAID (not the same as attempted to make payment) rent in the first place, so it would be the right thing to do to pay the rent from a moral standpoint, but just like it's your job to keep an eye on your bank ballance, it's the land owners job to take are of his finances and cash his checks, so check legally and see what comes up, then decide morally.
  8. #8
    AChamberlain is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you for your responses...
    This is true; why would I make it up? I have talked to several other ex-tenants of this guy; he has done this to EVERYBODY. Supposedly several have just paid up; but none of the other situations were 5 years old...
    And yes, I did think that writing a check constitutes payment - I handed the guy his checks personally; wouldn't he have objected then if that were unacceptable? He's an eccentric guy, everyone in town knows he's odd - and I really don't want the deposit back unless I have to pay this "back rent" - but if I do have to cough up $9,000, I sure would like to defray it with the deposit.
    And blonde lebinese - is English your second language? The end of
    a line does not mean the end of a sentence. So you take a grammar class and I'll take a business course.
  9. #9
    panzertanker is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AChamberlain
    Thank you for your responses...
    This is true; why would I make it up? I have talked to several other ex-tenants of this guy; he has done this to EVERYBODY. Supposedly several have just paid up; but none of the other situations were 5 years old...
    And yes, I did think that writing a check constitutes payment - I handed the guy his checks personally; wouldn't he have objected then if that were unacceptable? He's an eccentric guy, everyone in town knows he's odd - and I really don't want the deposit back unless I have to pay this "back rent" - but if I do have to cough up $9,000, I sure would like to defray it with the deposit.
    And blonde lebinese - is English your second language? The end of
    a line does not mean the end of a sentence. So you take a grammar class and I'll take a business course.
    It sounds very unbelievable. You would have a shake of your head if I told you the same story.

    DaveDander, I am not being nasty, just pointing out, as you agree, that giving somebody a check DOES NOT mean you paid your rent.
    Though the landlord is eccentric and took the checks from you, they do NOT have to be accepted as legal tender.

    If you pay somebody for your rent for (by my calculations) at least a year and they NEVER cash your checks... Don't you think you would stop paying them by check and start giving them cash or a money order??? The money was bound to come due sooner or later. I am not placing all the blame on you, but I do think you knew he wasn't cashing them so you thought you could get away with it...

    Ignorance is not a defense.
    I have noticed that even intelligent people ask assinine questions every now and again.
    Disclaimer: I know a few lawyers. None of them is named panzertanker.
  10. #10
    AChamberlain is offline Junior Member
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    You are right, I did know he wasn't cashing the checks, and I bugged him about it all the time. I never wanted to get away with anything...It was actually really inconvenient because I kept all that money in my account for 2 years, acting as though it wasn't there - and I really could've used the deposit money back at the time. I will pay the rent if I have to - but no way can I pay it back all at once. I'll do it, say, in installments that resemble the original rental agreement - and I'd bet anything that he won't cash those either. My thing is - I have proof that
    1. I wrote those checks
    2. I kept sufficient funds available long after the checks expired

    heck, I have a letter from the guy from 5 years ago saying I had no late payments and that he'd rent to me again!

    So if there's a legal way I can duck this, heck yes I'd do it!
    The onus is on him for his messed up business practices.
  11. #11
    Devedander is offline Member
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    Panzer the tone of your post was a least a little hostile. If you don't believe this guy then don't believe him (it does sound pretty far fetched) but if you are gonna give advice then don't simultaneously denounce what he claims as fact.

    I agree that he has not paid rent, but he HAS fulfilled his responsibilities.

    So he has no reason to be angry about the deposit if his uncollected rent exceeds it (and he says he is not interested in it in that case).

    If you pay rent for a year and the person does not cash the checks, it does not put further obligation on you. Most property owners will not accept cash as payment for rent as there is no record of it, and I don't see how a mnoey order would have resulted any differently as it would also have expired by now.

    His manager did NOT fulfill his responsibilities when he failed to cash his rent checks. Like any business a landlord is to take payment in a reasonable fashion and in a reasonable amount of time. 5 years is not reasonable and that is the exact reason time limits exist on debts outstanding, to prevent someone from holding you in debt for an unreasonable amount of time beyond your control.

    I would check with your local housing board and see if the debt has expired. If it has, inform your old landlord as such and be prepared for him to not like you anymore. If he tries to report it to a credit beureu be ready to deny and fight the claims with copies of your checks (would be good to try and get a statement from him saying he didn't cash the checks but did recieve them too if possible).

    If the debt has not expired, then he has a right to collect and you can either pay him in full, or ask that he allow you reasonable time to make payments considering the extreme circumstances under which the debt is being collected. If you legally owe the debt still you should pay it one way or another, I don't think there is a way out of that.

    If he won't come to a reasonable agreement with you about paying over time, you can probably have it mitigated by a court which will spell out the period over which you have to make payment.

    You probably cannot file for lost opportunity of investment on the money that you held in your account expecting him to cash the checks.

    The deposit is a seperate issue and should be brought in small claims court. He is over his 21 days to return the deposit so he cannot withold any portion of it. I do not know where in the law it says he can withold deposit until your rent checks are cashed.

    Check the facts in your area and if the debt has expired let him know and do not pay if you don't want to. For $9,000 I would risk fighting a report to the credit bereu and I personally (as a small business owner) do not believe that anyone should be allowed to hold debt outstanding for such a time period as stated especially if payment was tendered and fault lies entirely in the collecting party.
    Last edited by Devedander; 06-06-2005 at 10:04 AM.
  12. #12
    panzertanker is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devedander
    Panzer the tone of your post was a least a little hostile.
    I think the word you are looking for is incredulous .
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveDander
    If you don't believe this guy then don't believe him (it does sound pretty far fetched) but if you are gonna give advice then don't simultaneously denounce what he claims as fact.

    I agree that he has not paid rent, but he HAS fulfilled his responsibilities.
    If he has receipts from the landlord stating that he has paid his rent, THEN he has fulfilled his responsibility...

    Quote Originally Posted by Davedander
    So he has no reason to be angry about the deposit if his uncollected rent exceeds it (and he says he is not interested in it in that case).
    Notice there was no issue about the deposit until the rent came into question...
    He has since used the money that was not his.
    I do not disagree with NOT paying up if he can do it legally. The LandLord was a fool for not cashing the checks. BUT, the OP needs to realize that he may have a Valid claim of debt against him...

    Quote Originally Posted by Davedander
    His manager did NOT fulfill his responsibilities when he failed to cash his rent checks. Like any business a landlord is to take payment in a reasonable fashion and in a reasonable amount of time. 5 years is not reasonable and that is the exact reason time limits exist on debts outstanding, to prevent someone from holding you in debt for an unreasonable amount of time beyond your control.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davedander
    I would check with your local housing board and see if the debt has expired. If it has, inform your old landlord as such and be prepared for him to not like you anymore.
    Sound advice; if you don't owe it legally anymore, good for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveDander
    If he tries to report it to a credit beureu be ready to deny and fight the claims with copies of your checks (would be good to try and get a statement from him saying he didn't cash the checks but did recieve them too if possible).
    So I could write a bunch of checks and post date them and then use a copy to prove that I paid you??
    I don't think so....
    CASHED checks yes, copies of an UNCASHED check, NO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davedander
    If the debt has not expired, then he has a right to collect and you can either pay him in full, or ask that he allow you reasonable time to make payments considering the extreme circumstances under which the debt is being collected. If you legally owe the debt still you should pay it one way or another, I don't think there is a way out of that.
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davedander
    The deposit is a seperate issue and should be brought in small claims court. He is over his 21 days to return the deposit so he cannot withold any portion of it. I do not know where in the law it says he can withold deposit until your rent checks are cashed.
    I doubt there is a stipulation that says that, but it has been 5 YEARS**************
    I doubt you could collect it anyway. Check your state LL/T laws for how long is acceptable. The tenant has a responsibility to prove that he has tried to get the deposit back and it wasn't returned faithfully. This OP KNEW he owed the LL the money for the rent that was never cashed, so he did not make a stink about the deposit....

    Quote Originally Posted by Davedander
    Check the facts in your area and if the debt has expired let him know and do not pay if you don't want to. For $9,000 I would risk fighting a report to the credit bereu and I personally (as a small business owner) do not believe that anyone should be allowed to hold debt outstanding for such a time period as stated especially if payment was tendered and fault lies entirely in the collecting party.
    Last edited by panzertanker; 06-06-2005 at 10:07 AM.
    I have noticed that even intelligent people ask assinine questions every now and again.
    Disclaimer: I know a few lawyers. None of them is named panzertanker.
  13. #13
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    So , after 2 years of keeping the covered funds in the Bank account , you'd figured what the H*** , he don't want his rent so I'll spend it .

    Why not keep the other 3 years worth of rent in there too = 5 years of rent , so you know your covered ?

    Hogwash ..... No written return receipt certified letters to him , stating I have been sending you valid cash-able rent checks and you are not cashing them . The funds are in my bank account for all uncollected rent amounts .

    I request a written response as to why you are not cashing these rent checks . Please respond within 10 business days , Yours Truly _______ _________ , address & Apt. # , phone . ????

    Notta ???
  14. #14
    Devedander is offline Member
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    4. You expect us to believe any of this crap???
    Incredulous definitely, but hostile also a little.

    Please note he does say
    heck, I have a letter from the guy from 5 years ago saying I had no late payments and that he'd rent to me again
    If you can provide that letter a court would probably find your debt null.

    Giving somebody a piece of paper (a Check) does not constitute "paying your rent".
    Having the person cash the check; now that IS paying your rent!
    And while that is true and we agree on the definition of "paid" it is not possible for the payer to force a payee to cash the check. There is actually no way to force someone to take payment, which is why the law exists that should payment be tendered in legal acceptable form and the payment denied the debt is null.

    The question is not whether he paid or not (he certainly did not) the question is did he fulfill his repsponsabilities to pay and does he still have responsiblity to pay.

    The fact that the deposit is brought up along with rent now 5 years later was explained in that the manager said he would not refund the deposit until the rent checks were cashed. At no point was the OP at a point where he was suffering a financial loss from this situation so it's not surprising he didn't bring it up. If I owe you $10000 and you owe me $100 and you say you won't pay me back until you cash the checks for my $10000 then I am not in a position to make a fuss about it.

    And as for your statement about check fraud that is different. I am taking the OPs post as fact. If he is lying about anything then he is just wasting everyones time, but then everyone on here could be lying.

    I would assume that the check numbers of alleged checks for payment will fall between checks written for other purposes around the same time. Elsewise yes the manager could file a check fraud lawsuite. If the OP is committing check fraud he has much bigger things to worry about than what we say here.

    In Cali the law states if you do not recieve your deposit back in 21 days or an itemized list of deductions along with written explanation as to why the remainder of deposit is being witheld (eg they need to have your carpet fixed by the carpet guy can't make it for 4 weeks) then the owner gives up all rights to the deposit regarldess of condition of the premises when the tenant leaves.

    This may be different in other states.
    Last edited by Devedander; 06-06-2005 at 10:39 AM.
  15. #15
    Devedander is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blonde Lebinese
    So , after 2 years of keeping the covered funds in the Bank account , you'd figured what the H*** , he don't want his rent so I'll spend it .

    Why not keep the other 3 years worth of rent in there too = 5 years of rent , so you know your covered ?

    Hogwash ..... No written return receipt certified letters to him , stating I have been sending you valid cash-able rent checks and you are not cashing them . The funds are in my bank account for all uncollected rent amounts .

    I request a written response as to why you are not cashing these rent checks . Please respond within 10 business days , Yours Truly _______ _________ , address & Apt. # , phone . ????

    Notta ???

    Again OP states he has a letter stating no oustanding rent. If that is available it puts a lot of weight in his corner.

    OP kept funds available for checks for 2 years. Checks are only valid for one year. Legally it's up to the local statutes but I don't think any court would have a problem with mitigating a payment schedule for a debt over 2 years old for which payment was attempted.

    Why is everyone pointing it out like the OP dropped the ball? How many businesses do you engage with who require you to keep all records and follow up on their mistakes? Should the OP also go over the landowners taxes to ensure the property is being reported correctly? Maybe he should hire and attorney to ensure Safeway actually collects the money from Visa when he pays for his groceries too...

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