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Am I responsible for the $45 late fee if the rent check was lost in the mail?

I mailed my rent check on October 1. It still hasn't cleared from my checking account. My landlord usually cashes the check no later than the 3rd of the month, and it's now the 7th.

I'm assuming the mail got lost, and I'll stop payment on the check and give the landlord cash instead.

My question is, am I responsible to pay the $45 late fee? I left a msg on my landlord's voicemail earlier today, but have yet to get a response.

What do YOU think?

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 9:41 PM on Oct. 7, 2009 in Relationships

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • i would say no but its up to the landlord.
    scooterpooter

    Answer by scooterpooter at 9:44 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • It depends on the Landlord and your relationship. I would want to say no your not but in reality you are. You could have mailed it sooner you could have paid cash to begin with... I understand completely that it was not your fault it was lost but at the same time it was an obligation to get it in and it was missed. Just bad luck that's all.
    fourisplenty

    Answer by fourisplenty at 9:43 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • Why not contact the landlord and ask if they have received the check and just not put it through the bank yet instead of just assuming?

    If it was lost then yes, you are responsible.
    KalebsMommee

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 9:48 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • There is a legal assumption that the post office will deliver the mail so you shouldn't be responsible for the late fee. If the mail is found and it proves by the post mark that you did send it then they'd have to refund your late fee (if you pay it). You can request that they not charge you the late fee and wait the 30 days for the post office to find it. Just to make sure though, you need to check your lease and your state's Tenant Landlord Act to see how your state deals with such things.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 10:10 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • Yes. That could be anyone's excuse whether it was or not. You'd have to prove it with a postmark.
    kathyartist2007

    Answer by kathyartist2007 at 10:45 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • OP

    I've lived here for six years and have never been late with rent, so why would I lie? I don't think my landlord would think I was trying to pull the wool over his eyes. I'm just wondering about the $45. It's a lot of money for a single mom like myself. If I DON'T include the payment with the rent payment, what will he think? Then again, if I DO include the payment with the rental payment, he may think, "Why is she paying this? I trust her-I know she wouldn't lie...afterall, she's been a model tenant for six years".

    Ok, maybe I'm over-thinking this one. I just don't want him to think I'm becoming a crappy tenant. In this economy, it seems like more and more people are not paying their rent, expecting that they can't get evicted without being taking to court first. I'm not a bum, and I'd hate for him to think I was turning into one. If I don't hear from him in the morning, I'll call him again. TY
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:02 AM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • You are responsible. That is the risk you take with the mail. Pay in person from now on and get a reciept for payment. I would contact your landlord and see if he got it. If he didn't let him know you are stopping payment and show the documentation for it. Then issue a new payment to him. He may have gotten it just has not made a bank run. Seems you are creating a lot of worry when you could just call the person and see what is going on.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:36 AM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • Unfortunatly that will depend on your landlord and what he says but if you've been faithful on your payments as you stated then I can't see why he wouldn't this once. If he makes you pay then take this as a lesson learned. Maybe next time call him and let him know that you mailed out the check so he knows to expect it and that you mailed it in time.
    worriedmommy600

    Answer by worriedmommy600 at 12:39 AM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • Most landlords give a 3 day grace period. However, LEGALLY you are responsible for a late fee if the rent was late....no matter if it is lost in the mail or not. YOU chose to mail the rent. I am a landlord & if my tenant was late with rent but contacted me right away, I would give a ONE time forgiveness. After that, she will have to pay the penalty....but we also give her a 5 day grace period.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:12 AM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • OP

    The landlord called me back. The p.o. box that I mailed the check to was closed by the landlord last month, which is why he didn't get the rent check! So thats what happened. Thank God that mystery got solved. I'll give him cash, and wait for the post office to return my mail.

    I wish he would have told me his mailing address changed BEFORE I paid the rent, but whatever. I'm not offering him the late fee. I think it's HIS fault. How was I to know the mailing address changed?

    Thanks everyone.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:43 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

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