Can my landlord charge me a returned check fee due to a stop payment I put on it when she told me she didn’t get it?

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Can my landlord charge me a returned check fee due to a stop payment I put on it when she told me she didn’t get it?

I gave a 30 day notice to vacate and my lease started mid-month so my payment was due the 15th. I moved out on the 1st of the month so I only owed a 1/2 month rent the last time it was due. I mailed it and I was later advised by the her realtor that she didn’t receive it so I did a stop payment and offered to give him a replacement check. He stated that they would just take that from my deposit. But now they are saying I did the stop payment and now I owe her fees cause the check was returned from her bank when she said she never got it…that’s why I did the stop payment.

Asked on October 8, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord obviously is trying to charge you a fee for the failure of your check to clear due to the fact that you had a "stop payment" issued as to your check because the real estate agent who apparently was the landord's agent advised you that the check was not received.

The issue is whether or not you are obligated to pay the landlord the fee for the check due to the fact the check failed to clear.

From what you have written, it does not seem that you are obligated to pay the landord the fees on the first check that you issued a "stop payment" on based upon the representations of the real estate agent of the landlord. I presume that the landlord received the second check so there is no issue that you had a good faith intent to pay the last month's rent.

Good luck.


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