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How to Handle “Partial Payments” to Void Eviction Notices

Accepting any rent payment during the pendency or expiration of a notice is a frequent matter of concern. The fundamental principle dictates that the act of accepting rent, even if it’s less than the total amount owed, leads to the withdrawal or waiver of any outstanding notice.

Remember, this shouldn’t be considered legal advice, please contact us to review your specific case.

Written Notice to Tenant

The primary goal is to establish a clear understanding that the landlord does not intend to create a new tenancy by accepting rent during the ongoing unlawful detainer (UD) proceedings.

The notice should be in writing and sent to the tenant defendants who have tendered rent during the action.

Clearly state that the landlord has not accepted the payment and does not, by holding it for any period (uncashed), intend to form a new tenancy.

Specify that the uncashed check is retained solely as proof of the existing debt related to the ongoing unlawful detainer case.

Commercial Tenancy Evictions

In the case of commercial tenancies, it’s important to advise the tenant defendant in advance that accepting a partial rent payment during the UD proceedings does not constitute a waiver of the landlord’s rights.

Ensure that the tenant comprehends that accepting partial rent is not an acknowledgment of the continuation of the tenancy but is retained for the purpose of evidencing the debt.

Additional Paragraph in 3-Day Notice

Include an additional paragraph in a 3-day notice emphasizes the landlord’s stance on partial payments.

Clearly state that partial payments will not be accepted and will be returned to the tenant.

If returning the payment is not practical, emphasize that the landlord will retain the payment as evidence of non-compliance.

Conclude with a strong statement clarifying that the lessor is not deemed to have accepted rent unless there is an explicit statement of intention to do so.

In summary, these measures aim to provide legal clarity and prevent any misunderstandings between the landlord and tenant regarding the acceptance of rent payments during the course of unlawful detainer proceedings. They help to establish a clear paper trail and protect the landlord’s rights in both residential and commercial tenancy cases.