Must a landlord start an eviction all over again if the accept a partial payment from their tenant?

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Must a landlord start an eviction all over again if the accept a partial payment from their tenant?

We served the pay or quit notice then the 60 day notice. She then paid a part of the rent and asked for an extension on the eviction to see if she can come up with the rest of the money owed. If Igive her an extension does that mean that I will have to start all over with the eviction?

Asked on June 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here the legal issue is whether accepting partial rent waives a landlord's right to continue toevict a tenant. The fact is that if you're being evicted for non-payment of rent, a landlord's accepting partial rent from a tenant after the eviction process has been started does not typically jeopardize their rights to evict their tenant. In other words, even if you pay you may not be able to stay. Landlords who accept rent in the middle of the eviction process typically do not intend to forfeit their right to evict their tenant; they simply want to cut their losses.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it may.  Generally speaking if a landlord accepts even partial payment of the rent after an eviction for non-payment is begun it voids - for lack of a better word - the action that has been started.  So if you intend on going through with the eviction process based upon her non-payment for the time period in which the action covers I would not accept any rent from her at all.  Otherwise you will have to start the process all over again.  You are entitled to ask for a judgement for the rent owed in the eviction process so that may be a better option for you here.  You are the best judge in this instance as to how you want to proceed. 


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