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My "landlady"'s daughter is not the legal owner of the place…

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My "landlady"'s daughter is not...
My "landlady"'s daughter is not the legal owner of the place I'm renting but has me make out my rent checks to her. Is this legal?
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 1 minute by:
10/19/2017
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31,291
Experience: Lawyer
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Hi,

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

Has the owner asked you to make checks out to her daughter? Has the daughter shown you a Power of Attorney document?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The daughter told me she has no Power of Attorney. I talk to the owner and she's never said she didn't want me to make out the checks to her.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I just wonder what exactly happens the rent money. The daughter lives with her mother and another daughter in the mother's nearby house. It's been failing into disrepair for years -- they NVER fix windows witrh cracks in them, etc. -- but last month the daughter I write checks to went to Aruba for almost the entire month. The mother is almost 87 so I wonder what's going on.
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago

Honestly, it sounds like the daughter is stealing the mother's money. And she's putting you in a precarious position, because if the mother thinks you didn't pay her rent, you can't prove you did. Her daughter isn't the owner of the property.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago

You can insist on writing checks to the mother, as she is the landlord and the owner of the property. There are plenty of ways the daughter can help her mother without having checks made out to her and going on vacation with the money.

You may also want to report her to your local police for suspected elder financial abuse.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I never get a receipt but I write "Rent" in the memo on the checks. Should I insist on receipts?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I've been renting here over ten years. The mother (owner) is now in ill health so it seems that the daughter is getting the checks to facilitate financial matters. But it also seems she and her sister are letting the house fall into disrepair because they're just planning to sell it as soon as their mother passes away.
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago

The cancelled check is your receipt, usually. But the problem is, the daughter doesn't have any authority to give you a receipt. You have an obligation to pay rent to her mother. If the mother sued you, you would be found liable and then you'd have to sue the daughter yourself.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago

If the repairs are cosmetic, there's unfortunately not a lot you can do about it. If there are serious health and safety issues with the property, call the city housing department. They can help you get needed repairs without having to file a lawsuit.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago

Do you have any other questions about this?

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