If my apartment complex office was broken into and some of the rent money orders were stolen, amI responsible for re-paying my rent?

UPDATED: Jan 6, 2012

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If my apartment complex office was broken into and some of the rent money orders were stolen, amI responsible for re-paying my rent?

Of course mine happen to be one of the stolen ones. It was a money order it takes 30 days for them to refund me the money from that money order. Just today I received an eviction letter. Can they evict me for that?

Asked on January 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Legally, once you put the rent into the hands of the landlord or property manager, you have discharged your rent responsibility--the fact that the money is stolen later is not your fault or your responsibility. Not only should you not be evicted if your already paid, while you should help if possible (e.g. stop payment and then reissue another money order), if the money order has already been cashed, you should not have to reissue a new one; this is no different from if the rent money is stolen from the landlord's bank account after it was deposited. Again, your legal responsibility is to pay the rent, not for what happens later.

However, that's the law. If the landlord takes the position that you never even turned in the rent (either honestly believing that, or improperly, to get you to pay again), they will likely try to evict  you. If they take you to court for eviction, your two options are to either (1) repay the rent, to avoid eviction, while trying to get the money back from the money order; or (2) try to prove, by whatever evidence you have and your testimony, in court that you did pay the rent and the landlord lost/had it stolen afterwords.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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