Can our property management company make us pay for a mistake that their employee made?

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Can our property management company make us pay for a mistake that their employee made?

I am being sued for $1555 in rental adjustments that the apt management company added to my occupant ledger. My property manager made a mistake and kept my rent at $399/ month when I transferred to a 2 bedroom but our lease said I was to pay $535/ month and that is what I paid. they are trying to correct their mistake and added 12 months worth of $136 adjustment i guess thinking I did not pay the difference. I have my receipts, plus their ledger showing that they cashed money orders in the amount of $535 (or $555 if rent was late). Am I obligated to pay? Can I sue the management company?

Asked on July 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you actually paid the amount called for in your lease, then no, it does not matter if their ledger shows your paying some lesser amount--you have honored your obligation and cannot be forced to pay more than the amount called for in the lease. Should they try to take legal action against you, you should be able to easily defend yourself by showing your receipts, etc. If they try to take legal action, you *might* be able to also countersue for abuse of process, but that is a very difficult claim to make; you could also make a motion for legal fees or costs, which is more likely to be granted (but still far from a given). Until/unless they take action against you, there is no basis for you to state a claim against  them.

You may wish to make copies of your lease and your payment receipts and send them to the management company, some way you can prove delivery, to try to head this off by showing that you have paid all amounts due under the lease.


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