Can I be served withboth a notice to vacate and a notice of intent to lockout the day after my landlord tooka partial payment?

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Can I be served withboth a notice to vacate and a notice of intent to lockout the day after my landlord tooka partial payment?

I was recently put on temporary layoff at may job and I didn’t qualify for unemployment until next month. I spoke with my landlord about my situation telling her that I will be able to pay $600 on the 3rd and I would try to have the rest by the following Friday. She agreed and per our agreement I paid $600 on the 3rd. The next day I leave out my apt to find a “Notice to Vacate for Non-Payment” and “Notice of Intent to Lockout” taped to my front door. No one knocked, they just taped it to the door. Is it legal for her to evict me after taking a partial payment? What can I do?

Asked on June 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, a landlord is not obligated to accept partial payment; he or she can insist on payment of rent in full when due, and begin the eviction process if it's not all paid on time. (Note: you can only be evicted by the court, through the legal process; unless the landlord actually went to court, he or she can't lock you out.)

However, if the landlord agreed to a payment plan, he or she must honor that agreement, like honoring any contact. The problem may be proving the existence and terms of the agreement, if it was all oral or verbal. In the future, get agreements in writing; in the current case, if the landlord takes you to court, you can testify to and try to prove the agreement.


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