What to do if the county mistakenly sent me a rent check for a tenant?

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What to do if the county mistakenly sent me a rent check for a tenant?

I have had a tenant for several years on general assistance; a monthly check is sent to me by the county for them. This past Decemberthey where put on SSD, starting in January. They received a retroactive larger amount in December, and the tenant sent a letter stating that they don’t send any more check. However, the county sent a rental check for January of this year. Should I send it back and make the tenant pay me or cash the check (unsure of entitlement).

Asked on January 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you need to return the check to the county and to ask the tenant to pay you the rent.  You knew the answer, though, didn't you?  You do not want to get caught in any web from the county accusing you of stealing the money.  You were given notice by the tenant enough in advance but sometimes it takes a while for a governmental body to catch up to what is going on.  So return the check with a letter (and I might consider sending it all by certified mail return receipt requested or at least with a certificate of mailing) and explain what you explained here and that you are returning the check. Good luck.


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