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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 9 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.


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