Do I still owe rent after the lease has been terminated, if my old landlord had never deposited an old rent check?

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Do I still owe rent after the lease has been terminated, if my old landlord had never deposited an old rent check?

I ended a 2 year lease several months ago, and got my security deposit back. 5 months later my old landlord is contacting me that I had put a stop payment on one of my old rent checks. I called my bank and they said that my landlord had tried to deposit my rent check after 90 days that it was issued. This would render the check void. I am no longer her tenant, and am not responsible for the fact that she waited until the check was void to deposit it. Is it still my responsibility to send her a new check for this old rent?

Asked on August 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is still your responsibility to pay her the money. Under  the lease, you were obligated to pay the rent, and that obligation does not end when you are no longer her tenant--that is, you still owe rent for the time you were a tenant, if such rent were not paid previously. The landlord tried to deposit the check and was refused; therefore, she was not paid the money. Unless the lease said she had to deposit it within a certain time (unlikely), it is no defense to say that the landlord delayed. You need to pay her the money you were supposed to pay her and were evidently willing to pay her, anyway.


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