If a lost money order, who is responsible?

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If a lost money order, who is responsible?

I paid my rent with a money order, and the landlord lost it. They have it on record that I paid it but they are telling me that it is my responsibility to get the refund or to pay the money over again. Is this correct? Who’s responsibility is it, and if they are responsible what sort of action should I take?

Asked on November 9, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is a tough one.  You tendered payment and then the possession of the money order transferred from you to them.  Did you get a receipt?  Will anyone back you up as "receiving" the money order?  That is really the issue that I have here.  Proof that it actually changed hands.  The proof helps shift the burden that it came to be possessed by the landlord and that it was his responsibility to keep it safe.  Without the proof it is difficult to say that it was received. You may be the only person with the right to trace it at this point and get a refund so even if you were brought to court for the rent payment it might still hang n your shoulders.  Good luck. 


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