What to do if my rental office misplaced my rent payment and the receipt?

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What to do if my rental office misplaced my rent payment and the receipt?

They have informed that I need to pay the rent for the month that I’ve already paid for. What do I do? I don’t feel I should be held responsible for them misplacing a receipt.

Asked on November 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, once you pay the landlord, you have fulfilled your obligation. If the landlord later loses the money or the records of it, that does not matter.

Practically, if you can't prove that you paid, you will have trouble: the landlord may try to evict you for nonpayment, and/or sue you to recover the money, and if you have no evidence that you did in fact pay, the landlord has a good chance of winning. If you paid by check or money order, you will be able to prove that someone cashed the check or money order--and, in the case of a check, may be able to prove that it went into the landlord's account. This will put you in a much stronger position. However, if you paid by cash and there is no receipt, there is no proof of payment; it may be worthwhile to pay the rent again in that case to avoid eviction and other negative consequences.


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