ASK AMY: A parent who pays rent wonders where the checks landed


Dear Amy: I’m retired. My adult daughter has always had a job and paid her bills on time.Because of the COVID virus, her income has dropped considerably. I offered to pay her rent and have done so in the past four months.

My concern is as follows: I write the check payable to the owner of her six-unit building and she presents it.

She has been in the apartment for about three years and he accommodated her by lowering her rent a bit, in exchange for her maintenance of the small front yard and the shoveling of snow in winter.

I wonder if he is wondering why the checks came from me and why he did not deposit any of my checks.

I did not tell my daughter that the checks had not been processed (and I do not intend to tell her).

I just don’t know if he just has improper banking practices or if he doesn’t deliberately cash checks to give my daughter a very generous, albeit confidential, break for four months. If so, I am extremely convinced that I must thank him.

Do I have to wait another two months or so to see if he finally processes the checks, or should I send him a note now, assuming he’s kind and generous?

Confused by appreciable

Dear confused: You think too much about that by a mile. First of all, your landlord will not worry about who writes the rent check, as long as it is cleared. Many people are in the same situation as your daughter and the rent comes from unexpected neighborhoods.

You should not keep all of this confidential from your daughter. She is a tenant, she accepted this arrangement with you and she sends the checks to her owner.

Where is she? This should be your first question. Her landlord may have offered her a temporary rent amnesty – and she could “bank” these checks (hang them) for later use. Or – she sends him the checks and he doesn’t process them because he hasn’t been in his mailbox for a long time.

Or – as happened to me once – these checks landed in that little space between his desk and the wall (I thought I had fallen into a magical secret bargain until my landlord suddenly cashed six checks from rent at a time).

Either way – you should know what’s going on. If the owner has not received payment for their apartment (for whatever reason), this could put them in a traffic jam.

First, ask your daughter. Then confirm with the owner that he receives these checks and ask him if there is a reason why he did not cash them. If it comes from the goodness of his heart, you can thank him personally.

Dear Amy: I have been away from my son for about 12 years; he refuses to have any contact with me. It was his decision shortly after his mother’s divorce.

Ironically, a few years after this event, my son divorced his first wife.

He is now remarried. I recently learned that he and his second wife had just had a baby girl, my granddaughter.

I think of corresponding with his wife – my daughter-in-law – in order to convince her that I should be able to see my granddaughter.

Such attempts could create friction in my son’s marriage. Should I try to convince my daughter-in-law that I should be able to see my granddaughter or simply give up all attempts and wait a moment for my son to seek reconciliation?

Sad dad

Dear daddy: You should not try to “convince” anyone of anything. You should reach out to your son and his wife in a neutral and positive way to congratulate them on the birth of their child. Share a joyful memory of your son’s life: “I will never forget the joy I felt when I became a father. ”

Express a sincere desire to be reconciled without pushing too hard.

Dear Amy: I don’t always agree with your advice, but I must admit that I was moved to tears by your response to “Not Born in the USA”, the immigrant who wanted to become more “American”. Your various cultural examples reminded me of how complicated – and amazing – this country is.

Born in the United States

Dear born: Thank you. I urge anyone who reflects on the state of our nation to try to describe it to a new citizen.


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