What can be done if our landlord has not cashed our rent checks for 6 months?

My landlord is an elderly woman but she manages a trust that has multiple properties. She has never been great at cashing checks but usually it resolves within a few months. We have just been looking at our accounts and found she has not cashed 6 months’ worth. We effectively owe her $12,000. We also moved from one apartment to another within the same building over a year ago. She never returned the deposit for that despite many attempts and apologies on her part for being slow. She always claims she is so busy and far behind but it’s frustrating. What are our rights?

Asked on December 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have paid your landlord $12,000 for 6 months worth of rent and for whatever reason she has not cashed the checks, you really have nothing to be concerned about so long as you have copies of the checks paid her.

If you want her to cash the checks so you can get your checking account in order (balanced) I suggest that you call her to remind her to do so and follow up with a written letter reminding her to cash your rent checks.

As far as her failure to return the deposit for your former rental that she also owns, you need to call her about the need for it and follow up with a written letter. From what you have written it does not sound malicious on her part.

One solution for the need for the return of your former deposit would be to pay her next month's rent less the amount of the deposit owed you from your former rental in the same building.


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