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Rent Check Never Cashed

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Rent Check Never Cashed

Postby <Tenant Needs Help> » Thu Mar 28, 2002 2:28 am

My Landlord is taking me to Housing Court in a non-payment proceeding because he claims I did not pay my September 2001 rent (my lease expires at the end of June). I did send the September rent via certified mail and also enclosed a letter, as well. I kept the green mailing slip. The landlord never cashed the check. I called the management office many times, but they have been rude about the check. My Landlord is a shady character, and I am afraid if I write him a new check for $1700.00, he might cash the old one. The bank told me that checks can be cashed up to one year after the date they are written. I have written the landlord about this issue every month since then, since he has sent a computerized invoice indicating non-payment of rent for one month. He is also charging late fees of $35.00 per month since September.
<Tenant Needs Help>

Re: Rent Check Never Cashed

Postby <David> » Thu Mar 28, 2002 2:40 am

So your defense is that the rent was tendered but not cashed. You have the certified receipt to prove it. Tell him in front of the judge that you'll write a new check when he returns the old one. Even if he cashes the old one, then it would be applied to the rent. You will have proof. Refuse to pay any late fees.

Re: Rent Check Never Cashed

Postby <From Author of Questi » Thu Mar 28, 2002 12:19 pm

The landlord is also saying that he has a right to attoney's fees. (There is such a provision in my lease, but I think it's unfair.) Why should I have to pay for his inability to either cash my check or consult me about it.) He never returned my many phone calls and letter attempting to correct the situation. Where can I go for help? I can't afford a lawyer.
<From Author of Questi

Re: Rent Check Never Cashed

Postby lappert » Thu Mar 28, 2002 2:37 pm

First -- pick a user name, not "author of the question."

If there's a provision for attorney fees in the lease, even if it's only one way, it works both ways -- meaning you can get attorney fees if you win. This is well-settled law.

This is not ricket science. If you offered the rent and it was refused, then there's no problem. It really depends on what the court papers say.
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