What an imagination?. Landlord is a she/owner, disabled with a stroke and something. I paid a small fee to consult an attorney today through a hotline, the attorney did not give encouraging advice, basically told that I can negotiate for installments and pay all the backdated fees and rent and be done with or I'll be liable to later pay a lot more than what I would owe now. But reading through here, it seems I have options to not pay.
If there is no paper trail, no written requests to pay the rent, no request to pay late fees, then the landlord would have a hard time proving his case at trial.
You could test the landlords resolve by sending him a check for a few hundred bucks or more with the stipulation that "The cashing or depositing of this check #xxx for the amount of $xxx satisfies all debts between xxxx and xxxx." ...And see what happens.
What appears to be lost in this thread is that the OP is trying to get his security deposit back. If the landlord deducts more from the security deposit than the op thinks is right, he must sue the landlord in small claims court, where the landlord could counter claim for any deductions he did not take.
The date of deposit of a check is not "meaningless". It would be a fact that helps to establish when the payment was made. At the very least you can say that the payment was made no later than that date. And coupled with evidence of what the landlord's practice was in depositing rent checks it could very well establish that the check was late. The date the tenant put on the check would be useful too. If the date on the check itself is past the date the rent is due then the landlord has pretty good evidence of the late payment. Even without all that the landlord's own testimony as to when the rent was received is evidence that the court may consider. If the landlord's testimony is believed over that of the tenant that alone could carry the day. Naturally the better the evidence the landlord has the better his case for the late payment is, and prompt written notices of a late payment would certainly help. But a landlord could still prove it without having sent those notices. As always, the totality of the evidence on each side and how persuasive that evidence is matters.
Funny how in some cases you claim a plaintiff needs written proof and now you say his word is like gold...even going back 3+ years.
You are being inconsistent to say the least. If I was the judge, I'd tell the landlord what the IRS would tell him under similar scrutiny..."KEEP BETTER RECORDS...OR ELSE! And at least act like a professional landlord and notify people when they owe you money."
As I said, the date of the deposit is not meaningless. You are correct in that the date of deposit by itself it won't prove the date the the check was received, but it is not necessarily "worthless" as you claimed. Along with other evidence, like evidence of the landlord's practice in depositing checks, it can be useful for proving the payment was late. The same with the date the tenant put on the check. If the date the tenant put on the check was after the date the payment was due it's pretty hard for the tenant to argue the payment was timely, after all.
Of course that's a harder case for the landlord. But again, if the court believes him over the tenant — if the landlord is more persuasive — the landlord can still win that. It'd be better for the landlord to have more to back him up, but it's not automatic he'd lose.
Reread what I wrote, Harold. Nowhere did I say his word was "gold". Far from it. What I am saying is that I disagree with your earlier contention that the date of deposit is "worthless". It's not worthless. A good lawyer can combine that with other evidence (if it exists) to make a good case that the payment was late. Thus, as I said before, how it goes for the landlord depends very much on the totality of the evidence presented and how convincing that evidence is. I'm not saying the landlord automatically wins. I'm saying that your statements that the date of the deposit is "worthless" and that the landlords testimony is similarly worthless is wrong. They do have value. They are evidence that can help the fact finder determine what the deal was. How much weight the fact finder puts on it is, of course, up to that fact finder (judge or jury). Each one is going to view it a bit differently. So from what we know so far the landlord isn't automatically going to win on this issue, but neither will he automatically lose as you seem to contend.
Ah, but that's the thing, isn't it, Harold? You aren't going to be the judge that hears the case. Evidence that you would discount might not be discounted by the judge that actually hears it. Neither you nor I knows whether the judge/jury will find that the payment was late because neither you nor I have (1) seen all the evidence that will be presented and (2) know anything about the judge (or jury) who would decide the case.
The whole trial was just retarded yet I had to sit there and watch a good man get lynched by the system. But anyway, I watched that prosecutor stand up with my letter in hand and make one flimsy response after another after each point. I understand now what happened, just like at my trial. It is in a lawyer's blood and duty to just say anything to rebut any point put at them, regardless of how weak it may sound. Because, to say nothing in return is the worst for a lawyer. Even a comment like "I love my mother." A good lawyer could argue that nobody loves their mother. Or that the sky is not blue. Or the best of all lawyer comeback slogans was "if the glove don't fit..." I'd bet that every lawyer saw that as the best statement of all time, yet it was total BS.
IOW, one must be highly critical when listening to a lawyer because they argue for sport and purpose, not from truth. Nothing personal. I am not nearly as attached to what I build as my customer is. I will do anything to get the job done, just as a lawyer will say anything to win regardless of how the truth is slanted and misrepresented.