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Landlord had me mail checks to his business in business name. They were cashed. He now tells me he gave me wrong address and I need to give him the money. I already had the money taken from.account. what do I do?

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    How many cheques did you send to this address, and how many were cashed, before he told you the address was wrong. – DJClayworth Feb 9 at 16:45
  • November, December, January. Then I sent February and March and was notified at that time. He told me he hadn't received any rent payments from us I sent proof of the check being cashed every month . At that point after I'd sent the next checks for February and March he informed me he had given me the wrong address so I canceled the checks for those months and sent checks to the correct address with a tracking number 3 total were cashed – Jill MacLean Feb 10 at 5:29
  • You sent Nov, Dec, Jan separately or together? And how different were these addresses? What was the place of the address he gave to you? – DJClayworth Feb 10 at 20:02
  • @DJClayworth I sent 3 together at beginning of tenancy as was short term rental. He extended rental for another 2 as the development of prorpery isn't going ahead yet as planned so rental is continuing for another few months. I then sent the next 2 together as well was notified of incorrect address and had to cancel them and send to correct address. The incorrect address is 2 doors down from real one in a business district building..its not coming up as a specific business but it's only 2 places down from correct address – Jill MacLean Feb 11 at 0:09
  • If it's only 2 doors down he (or you) should be able to knock on their door and ask what happened to the cheques. – DJClayworth Feb 11 at 0:42
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Lets take this at face value for a second. Lets accept the fact that he gave you the wrong address to mail the checks, and the checks were stolen, and the checks were fraudulently cashed.

Contact your bank, and ask them to help you contact the police. File a formal police report. Why? Because either the money was stolen, or the landlord is not telling the truth. Your bank may have more information about how the checks were cashed, they might be able to contact the other bank.

But don't immediately give more money to the landlord. This sounds like sloppy business processes. The wrong address is bad. But if several checks were mailed, cashed and this went on for a while, then either the landlord failed to notice, or failed to care.

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    This is good advice. The worst the landlord can do is try to evict you, and this paper trail will show good faith to make a payment and make it harder for the landlord to win an eviction – JohnFx Feb 9 at 18:08
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Writing another answer because there are things I can't put in comments.

You should definitely report this to the police, because something seriously illegal happened here. If the landlord is telling the truth then someone opened mail not addressed to them (illegal on its own) and then found the cheques and decided to cash them- a serious crime, and one that takes a certain amount of effort.

If this is the case it's an easy win for the police. They can probably find out who cashed the cheques, and a cross reference with people connected to the address the cheques went to should get a conviction.

But I'm skeptical, because 95% of people who get a letter addressed to a person or company who live two doors down will just take them the letter. Even fewer open it and cash a cheque not made out to them. And if he is telling the truth your landlord messed up in several ways - by giving you the wrong address, by not noticing that you had not paid, and by not going to follow up with the address he gave you.

My advice:

  1. Get the police involved. As I said above something seriously illegal happened here.
  2. Tell the landlord you are going to pay him only when the police investigation is complete. Since this is all his fault he should be fine with that.
  3. If the police investigation shows someone else did cash the cheque then see if the bank will reimburse you. A bank should not cash a cheque except to the person it is written to.
  4. If the police investigation shows your landlord cashed the cheque, then he is probably going to jail and you don't need to worry.
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Assuming you have some proof that he cashed them, just tell him no. If he sues or tries to evict you then you can use that proof as evidence of payment.

I am hoping you have a lease or other formal communication that specifies you should make payments to that business at that address? Definitely use that as evidence too.

  • I do have emails stating to send them to the said address in business name. I'm have copy of cashed cheques also but he claims someone must have intercepted them and cashed them. He told me to contact bank who negotiated and sort this out. I dont know what steps to take from here as he feels I'm.still owing the money – Jill MacLean Feb 9 at 0:43
  • I agree, the evidence supports you, as you have the address he told you to send it and the checks were cashed. Keep a copy of everything communicated and of all the checks. To prevent this from getting out of control, write down every phone conversation (date, time, discussion). Continue to pay only as the lease instructs and keep a copy of those payments. Yes, alert your bank to the situation and ask what your options are, but the failure (according to your post) is on the landlord and is his mess to clean up. Tell the landlord you're willing to help find it, but not double paying. – Adam Klump Feb 9 at 13:48
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    @JillMacLean In that case I'd ask the landlord if they are is willing to file an affidavit that they didn't receive/cash them so you can file a police report for the fraudulently cashed cheques. If they did indeed cash them I bet that would make them very nervous about continuing to lie about it. – JohnFx Feb 9 at 18:06
  • What I'm confused about is being as they were written to his business, isn't he the one that would file a police report as the checks were addressed and made out to his company name? Because that would be a fraud towards his company I'd assumed as the person would have had to cash them under the pretense that they were the company or someone with rights to cash a third party business check made out to that business? I've heard that the information Privacy Act will protect whomever cash it because they won't release information regarding that person's account? anyone know if that's true? – Jill MacLean Feb 10 at 5:27
  • @JillMacLean In case it's not clear, the fact that the rent money didn't make it to the landlord doesn't mean you don't owe the rent money. If the bank gets your money back for you, you must still pay the rent. – Eric Feb 10 at 18:25

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