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March 2018 Legal Tidbit

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Question: What effect does acceptance of a partial payment of rent have?

Answer: Acceptance by a landlord of a partial payment of rent from a tenant is, first and foremost, a business decision, but it may have legal ramifications. If you have already served a Demand for Compliance or Possession (3 day notice), then your acceptance of a partial payment will be a defense to any eviction case based upon that Demand. So, if you wish to accept a partial payment, serve the tenant with a new Demand for the new balance due. That will give the tenant another 3 days to pay the balance. You can also have the tenant sign a written agreement in which he waives any defense to an eviction on the partially paid Demand. If an eviction case has already begun when the partial payment is tendered, then acceptance of the partial payment will give the tenant a complete defense. If you then dismiss the eviction case, you may not be able to collect the attorney’s fees and court costs for the eviction because you did not prevail in the eviction lawsuit. However, the tenant can sign a written agreement to pay the attorney’s fees as a condition of your acceptance of the partial payment.

April 2017 Legal Tidbit

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Question: What is a Demand for Compliance or Possession used for?

Answer: This notice is used when a tenant has violated one or more terms of his lease, including a failure to pay rent. It gives the tenant three days within which to bring himself within compliance of the terms of the lease.

March 2016 Legal Tidbit

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Question: What is a Notice to Quit for Repeat Violation used for?

Answer: This notice is used to notify a tenant that his right to remain in possession of the rental unit will end in three days because the tenant violated one or more non-monetary terms of his lease in the past, was served with a Demand for Compliance or Possession, and has committed the same lease violation again.

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