Are we responsible for rent if it was stolen from the landlord?

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2012

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Are we responsible for rent if it was stolen from the landlord?

Last month, my husband and I purchased a money order for rent and hand delivered it to our landlord on the first of the month, per our landlord’s request. He gave us a receipt for paid rent, along with the receipt from the money order proving purchase. A few hours later, our landlord contacted us stating that his folder used for rent collection was stolen out of his vehicle as he made his rounds to collect other tenant’s rent. We let him know that we would do anything we could to try and get the money order cancelled and the money paid to him. After contacting the money order agent, MoneyGram, they stated that the money order had indeed been cashed and proceeded to send us a photocopy of the cashed money order. We presented this information and the proceeding documents to our landlord. He then asked us to still try and pay back the rent. Now it is the middle of July and we had an attorney for the landlord deliver us a 3-day notice to pay or quit, stating that rent for July was never paid. Are we responsible for reimbursing our landlord rent that was stolen from him?

Asked on July 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No.  You fulfilled your obligation by tendering rent to the landlord.  You should contact the landlord's attorney and explain to him what is going on.  If they still proceed with an eviction and wrongful detainer action, make sure that you show up to court with a copy of your receipt. A court will be on your side with this one.


Best of Luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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