If a tenant paid a former property manager and has a receipt, can theirlandlord evict them if he never received the money?

Tenant paid $5k for the former property manager without landlord consent/knowledge. Former manager was asked not to collect rents or have anything to do with properties starting September. Tenants have a receipt saying they paid $5K. Tenants have no lease agreement. Can landlord evict them?

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assuming you can prove delivery of the rent money to the former manager, the issue will likely turn on whether you knew or should have know that the person was no longer associated with the properties at the time you paid him or her. For example, say that you did not know that that the former manager was no longer associated with the properties or collecting rents--this was the person you'd paid rent to previously; the landlord never told  you not to pay to this person; etc.--then your paying them rent, if you can prove it, should be sufficient to avoid eviction. On the other hand, if the landlord can show you'd been sent an email or letter, etc.,  to not pay this person, but you paid them anyway, then your payment of the former manager would likely be ineffective. You'd still owe the landlord the rent, but may be able to sue the former manager (e.g. in small claims court) to get your money back.


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