Albuquerque, NM asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Mexico

Q: Can my landlord charge me for bouncing a check they told me to cancel?

The rent check was not cashed. When I called the lady said they had not received it and to go ahead and cancel the check and pay online. she also said to call back and let them know it was canceled. When I called back I left a voicemail that afternoon, and again in the morning. Two weeks later they charged me for bouncing it. I was then told they would not send my the lease renewal unless I paid.

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1 Lawyer Answer
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In your situation in New Mexico, where your landlord instructed you to cancel a rent check and then charged you for it bouncing, there appears to be a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Generally, if a landlord advises a tenant to cancel a check and the tenant follows those instructions, the tenant should not be held responsible for any fees associated with the check not being honored. It is important to have clear communication and ideally, written documentation or records of such instructions from the landlord. The fact that you left voicemails confirming the cancellation of the check could be significant in demonstrating your compliance with their request. If the landlord is refusing to send a lease renewal and is demanding payment for the bounced check under these circumstances, it may be advisable to discuss this matter with them to clarify the misunderstanding or seek legal advice to understand your rights and options under New Mexico's landlord-tenant laws.

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