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When landlord sent refund check to moved out tenant timely (

a week before the due...
When landlord sent refund check to moved out tenant timely ( a week before the due date, within 21 days) and was mailed from post office. The tenant claimed that he did not receive it but admitted other people have access to his mails at his address that he provided to landlord. What the landlord should do? Thanks.
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Answered in 7 hours by:
3/22/2018
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

The landlord's obligation is met by placing the security deposit check in the mail within 21 days. The first step is to check to verify whether the check was cashed. If it hasn't been, the landlord can place a stop payment and reissue the check. The check does have to be reissued now that you're aware the tenant didn't get it. As long as it's sent within a timely manner, that helps establish that you're acting in good faith. Being able to show good faith can help avoid a judgment for additional damages.

Technically, the security deposit statute wouldn't allow you to deduct the stop payment fee from the refund check, because that's not a damage to the property. You could ask him to reimburse you, but since you can't prove how the check got lost or what happened to it, it may not be worth the time and potentially going to court to argue about it.

One way to ensure that the tenant gets the check this time is to send it via certified mail, with a required signature. That lets whoever picks up the check know that it's important and not to lose it. You could also try asking the post office to require the signature of the tenant before they'll deliver it. Or you can ask the tenant if he prefers to have it sent to his work or another address.

Have I answered your question? If any part of my response is unclear, please reply WITHOUT rating so I can clarify. My goal is to provide excellent service, so if I've done that, please give me a 5-star rating before signing out. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Attorney
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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