How can a landlord ask you for past rent, if they gave you absolutelyno notice until now that you were even in arrears?

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How can a landlord ask you for past rent, if they gave you absolutelyno notice until now that you were even in arrears?

I was informed today by letter that I am 5 months in arrears (10/10, 8/10, 2/11, 4/11 and 5/11). This is my first time hearing of this. I have receipts to cover 3 of the 5 “supposed” dates.. The 10/10 totally boggles me as in I remember talking to the landlord because I put the receipts instead of the money orders in the office mail slot and promptly walked over and took the money orders when I was called. I cannot find the 10/10 (think they kept them 8 months ago). I have sent a copy of the receipts I have. What else should I do?

Asked on June 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The law does not require a landlord to give you notice of default or amounts in arrears as they occur; a landlord may elect to seek payment of unpaid rent at any time within the statute of limtiations (which means for several years after the nonpayment).

If you've paid rent already, you don't have to pay it again. Thus, to the extent you can show payment--have receipts--you will be in a good position. If you can produce receipts to the landlord, he or she should not sue you for any amounts, payment of which you can prove; or if the landlord does attempt to go ahead and sue you, the receipts would provide evidence at trial to show that you do not, in fact, owe those amounts.


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