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Sleep EZ v. Mateo

Facts: A landlord and tenant enter into a residential lease which requires the tenant to pay rent by mail. The tenant timely mails a money order for the correct amount to the address specified in the lease, but the landlord does not receive it. The landlord issues a three-day notice to pay rent or quit and the tenant holds over.

Claim: The landlord seeks possession of the property and money losses, claiming the tenant violated the lease since the landlord did not receive their monthly rental payment.

Counter claim: The tenant seeks to retain possession of the property, claiming they did not violate the lease since they sent their payment by mail as the lease indicates.

Holding: A California court of appeals holds the tenant did not violate the lease agreement since mailing the money order fulfilled the tenant’s obligations under the lease and the landlord bears the risk of non-delivery. [Sleep EZ v. Mateo (April 4, 2017) _CA4th_]

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