Can I be taken to court for not paying my rent on the 1st,if I have until the 5th according to my lease?

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Can I be taken to court for not paying my rent on the 1st,if I have until the 5th according to my lease?

I have lived in my apartment for 5 years and just recently had to change jobs. I’m also getting garnished for something from about 10 years ago, so that takes away some of my pay. Within the last 5 months I have paid my rent late but have paid. They have tried to evict me a couple of times but I always come up with my balance and pay. Now my property manager (who is new in the last 5 months) just sent me a letter on the 27th of last month stating that I need to have this month’s payment in on time, meaning the 1st. However, according to my lease agreement, I have until the 5th. Now she sent me a court notice. Can she do that?

Asked on August 5, 2011 Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, it would seem note--if the lease provides that you may pay your rent by the 5th, then so long as you do so, you are not in breach of the lease and should not be subject to eviction. You should double check exactly what it is that the lease says--make sure  that  you are in compliance with it.

If you are in compliance with the lease, then that would be your answer if hauled into court--you would show the judge the lease and evidence (e.g. cancelled checks, money order receipts, etc.) showing that you paid by the time specified in the lease. Above all, though, do not ignore the summons or the court date--doing so can result in your losing by default, even if you should have won otherwise.


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