Rental Payment History

This weekend, I received a letter from my landlord notifying me that I owed him one month’s rent because apparently, I had forgotten to pay rent one month two years ago. I freaked out, of course, because A) What? I forgot to pay rent? and B) Unexpected bill! and C) No, seriously, how could I forget to pay my rent?

After closely examining two years of rent payments, it turns out that no, I did not forget to pay my rent one month two years ago—my landlord had forgotten to include one of my rent checks in his ledger. I don’t know why he waited two years to tell me this, but after collecting copies of all my rent checks online and presenting all of them to him, the matter was cleared up this afternoon.

I’m not sure if there’s a lesson here besides: Make sure you have easy access to copies of major payments you’ve made somewhere. Thankfully, Chase had electronic copies of two years’ worth of checks online.

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16 Comments / Post A Comment

Markovaa (#1,509)

How long could he wait before presenting you with this bill? What is the legal length of time? What if you had moved to another building? Would he have sent bill collectors? Basically this whole scenario scares the crap out of me.

Mike Dang (#2)

@Franny I think if I were to have moved, he would have tried to keep my rental deposit, so this would have been cleared up before that happened. I really don’t know why he waited two years to tell me this.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

@Mike Dang
It’s pretty shite of your landlord to try and scam you like that.
However, my mother has done something similar (for money that was actually owed to her) because she’s terribly disorganised and will only go through her paperwork to find out who owes her money months and sometimes years after she invoiced clients and she has creditors harassing her (she REALLY needs a PA. Or Logan telling her to do that 1 thing).
So I get why sometimes this stuff can take 2 years.

antheridia (#2,995)

I like to believe in the goodness of people but this just screams “SCAM!” to me.

jfruh (#161)

What a profoundly slimy scam. Yeah, sure, he “forgot” to include it in his “ledger,” and just happened to be reviewing two years worth of his ledger and noticed that you forgot to pay rent, two years ago.

Of course many people wouldn’t have access to two years worth of rent records and would probably just end up writing a check for another month’s rent rather than fight it in court.

NoReally (#45)

@jfruh That’s what I was thinking. Giving you the option to pay a month’s rent not to have to find a canceled check from two years ago.

I wasn’t all that happy when my bank let me know they were “saving me the trouble of storing checks” by stopping sending them to me and letting me pay them if I needed one from father back than they keep them online.

tussock (#1,296)

@NoReally totally a scam. A NYC landlord tried to do this to me, too. He just held onto my security deposit after I left, and when I inquired, did this ‘oh you forgot to pay a month’ business. Strangely enough he couldn’t tell me *which* month I’d missed! None of them. Like Mike I had all my cancelled checks and when I mailed copies of them plus a firm letter my security deposit was suddenly forthcoming. This is my favorite story for justifying my obsessive record keeping!

thecoffeestain (#1,483)

See, this is exactly why I have a checking account that’s SOLE PURPOSE is to pay my rent. It’s been this way for the past few years and it has saved me from many a similar scrape. Good on you, Mike, for handling this in a much more professional manner than your landlord!

thecoffeestain (#1,483)

@thecoffeestain: Or should I say, “scam-lord”? :)

@thecoffeestain ha, me too – one checking account for rent & utilites, one checking account for everything else. This REALLy helps with budgeting, too, so I never accidentally spend my rent money on dresses from Anthropologie.

Megano! (#124)

What, you also could have sic’d the entire Billfold on him. “THERE’S NO WAY MIKE DANG FORGOT TO PAY RENT TWO YEARS AGO!!!”

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@Megano! My mind is still blown that Mike still had his rent receipts from two years ago. I am humbled before the master once again.

Arrrrgh. One of my first rental places, when we were refunded our bond, the LL withheld a huge sum, claiming we had been paying rent in arrears for the whole time and were therefore a week behind (in NZ you ALWAYS pay rent in advance, i.e. on Monday for the week ahead, or whatever). Total BS. Thankfully I still had my bank statements from two years back. Could have been an honest mistake (they were just really crappy and disorganised LLs) or they were just scummy. I dunno.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

My understanding of the universe was briefly shaken. Mike Dang does not forget to pay his rent. I do though. Like every couple months I just completely forget. Fortunately my landlord is a benevolent character.

sunflowernut (#1,638)

Ahhh this is the stuff of nightmares. I need to start keeping better track of all my payments. And I’m not in charge of paying rent in my house, but now I wish I was.

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