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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
I am trying to find out if my Landlord has any legal obligation to provide his tenants with a valid phone number - does anyone know?

I have recently had a problem with one of my rent checks being altered from my landlord's name to someone elses name - my landlord had possesion of the check and never told me it was lost or stolen.

I have not been able to contact him by telephone for 5 months.  



Posts: 3,817
Reply with quote  #2 
Are you asking if he has to provide you with his phone number?  Check your state's LL-Tenant laws, look for a section called LL Obligations to see.  This is usually not a requirement of LLs.  Most states only require that a LL provide their name and address for contact.  Some only require a name and a post office box for contact.

Were you not credited with the rent paid for that month?  I suggest you write a letter to the LL telling him of your concern about the check.  Send it to him by certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep a copy.  How do you know the check was in your LL's possession when it was altered?  It may have been stolen from the mailbox before he recieved it.  Write the LL and ask immediately.  If it has been stolen, someone has your banking info.

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the response.

I have always sent three checks to my landlord at a time post dated.  I mailed him a check for October 2007, November 2007, and December of 2007.  The October Check was cashed.  I had a check cashing agent call me on the November Check to ask who the check was suppose to be paid to.  This was a different name from my landlord.  He held the check and I went to pick it up.  The landlord name was smugged away and a new name was written over it.  This check was attempted to be cashed  this past Monday. 

My landlord never notified me to say the check was missing or that he hadn't received the payment.  I tried calling him immediately and was not able to get through to either phone numbers he has given me.  Other tenants have tired to contact him for various things and still have had the same result.

I considered the situation an emergency when the check cashing company notified me on the situation - that is why I am wondering if in emergency if the landlord should have a phone number to be contacted at.

I have received the check and cancelled the check and the other check for my December rent.  The checks did have all my info on it.  So I am closing the bank accounts.  This really upsets me because this situation has resulted in my landlord being at fault, not me.  He never contacted me to tell me the checks were lost or stolen.  It also leads me to beleive he may be in on it as well.  I have submitted a police report as well.

I am going to write my landlord a letter since I cannot get in touch with him and I need to make it sound as serious as possible.  Any info on what should be in the letter would be greatly appreciated.



Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #4 
Maybe your landlord is not at fault.  Maybe he has been sick and someone else is getting his mail and trying to cash your checks.  Just a thought.

Posts: 3,817
Reply with quote  #5 
First, how was a check written in ink "smudged" away?  I don't understand this.

Second, did you check to see who it was that was trying to cash your check?  Zabasearch the name.  There is a possibility that he could be the LL's relative.  Perhaps he is sick and was trying to have someone else cash the rent checks for him.  Or the check could have been stolen from his office without his knowledge.  He may not have even known that it was missing.  Another tenant, a lousy relative, or a delivery man could have taken it from his office when he wasn't looking.

Have you tried calling information for your local phone company to see if the LL has a new number?  Try Zabasearching the LL's name as well.  There may be a new number on there, or it may tell you that he is at a different address (like he may be in a long term care facility for an illness).  If he is, that would explain why you couldn't contact him and why the check was easily taken from him.  I doubt seriously that the LL is "in on a scheme" to defraud the bank, he would have nothing to gain from this.  Think about it.  He already has all of your personal info (DOB, SSN, bank info, credit report, credit card #s, etc.).  He would have nothing to gain with a scheme to purposefully change the check.  It is more probable that he is ill.

Write him immediately and send it overnight or CRRR.  Send him a money order for the rent money with an explanation of the check problem.  He or a relative may reply to explain the situation.  If not, send money orders for the rent from now on. 

Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #6 
Don't pay your rent and I'll bet he contacts you.


Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #7 
Hey McFurrly,

Advising someone not to pay their rent could cause them to take your advice, and have late fees / notices sent / or with the right set of circumstances even eviction, or an eventual lawsuit or judgement against them, or loss of their good credit rating, or loss of their Section 8 privileges. The person may have children, and be thrown out in the winter with no family to turn to.

People reading your comment may not have the same savvy or mastery of landlord / tenant law.

Not to mention that if damage was done to this person through eviction or resulting financial loss they could possibly even sue you for damages.

Always pay your rent. State law would not allow you to withold rent to "see" if your landlord is reachable. Write to the landlord TODAY. State what has happened, and ask what is going on. Write any and all letters as if you were writing to inform a courtroom of the current conditions.

Do not make ANY assumptions.

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