Can a landlord take rent money and apply it to a storage balance instead of your rent?

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Can a landlord take rent money and apply it to a storage balance instead of your rent?

I took $250 to my landlord to be applied toward next month’s rent. I found out today that he had instructed his office manager to apply that money to an old storage balance that I’ve been paying on. I told them it was to be applied towards my rent and now I am left owing the full amount of rent again. The storage bill is set up as a different entity than the rental accounts. Is this legal for him to do this to me?

Asked on February 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Based upon what you have written, your landlord can mis-apply your rent money and apply it to the amount owed on your storage balance. What you need to do is write him or her right away and state that the $250 was to be applied to rent and not storage. Keep a copy of the letter for future use and need. What the landlord has done is not a question of being legal or not. It is an issue of listening to your request as to what the payment is for.

The problem I foresee is that you will end up with an issue on delinquent rent with your landlord. In the future assuming you pay by check, make sure the "memo" section in the check mentions what the check is for and you keep a copy of it for future use and need.


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