Accepting partial rent payments

16 Replies

I have a late paying renter in a turnkey property in Memphis,TN. The management company is accepting partial rent payments from the tenant. I know in California if a landlord accepts partial rent, that may have a negative affect on eviction proceedings in the future. Is this the same in Tennessee?

That is a great question for your property manager but generally just because you accept partial payment it does not mean you are giving up any of your rights as asserted in the lease(not a lawyer) .

Originally posted by @Rico See :
I have a late paying renter in a turnkey property in Memphis,TN. The management company is accepting partial rent payments from the tenant. I know in California if a landlord accepts partial rent, that may have a negative affect on eviction proceedings in the future. Is this the same in Tennessee?

I am not too sure. It may change depending on the state. I know in Ohio if you accept ANY payment as rent you CANNOT evict until the following month. I am pretty sure. I'm no lawyer. 

You could check the laws yourself, or as your PM. If it prevents them from evicting, that is odd that they did that. Unless you gave permission.

Tom Ott, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2016003865)
440-749-4043

It has been my understanding (again no lawyer here) that you can accept partial payments however you would just serve them with a 3day to pay or quit for the remaining portion.  Now once you are in the process of actually evicting them they advise you to just hold on to the checks but do not negotiate them.  

I'm not a lawyer, but I do live in Tennessee and I hold rentals here.  My understanding of state law is once you begin the eviction process with a notice to pay or quit, any acceptance of payments would restart the clock for the tenant.  This may be true even if they give you a bad check, but that creates a new issue to deal with.  My property manager only accepts full payments. If eviction has begun, they only accept cash or certified funds.

I hope this helps.

Good luck

What is that you wish to get out of the out of state business?  If it was me I will take what I can get. If all tenants can pay on or before 1st why not go buy a home with zero or little down. 

Take the time to learn the TN landlord tenant codes. If you intend to do business in TN you are obligated to know the laws.

You will find the state codes on line.

Originally posted by @Rico See :
I have a late paying renter in a turnkey property in Memphis,TN. The management company is accepting partial rent payments from the tenant. I know in California if a landlord accepts partial rent, that may have a negative affect on eviction proceedings in the future. Is this the same in Tennessee?

 I know that's the process in most states. That's exactly how it is here in Ohio. We never accept partial payments for rent for this very reason.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633
My management company accepted partial rent and didn't tell me. I noticed a shortage and had to contact them to find out why. I understand the argument for something is better than nothing but I'm inclined to tell my management company to only accept full rent.

@James Wise , @Tom Ott

I am not a lawyer but this is not my understanding of the ORC, As I understand it, an Ohio  landlord may not accept any payment AFTER filing eviction without restarting the process. Otherwise, acceptance of partial payment only delays the ability to file an eviction until the tenant is no longer "current" on rent. For example, if a landlord was to accept half the rent then the tenant is current through the middle of the month at which point if the tenant does not pay the remainder owed then the landlord can immediately deliver a 3-day notice. Additionally, routine acceptance of late rent can effectively change the due date requiring the landlord to send written notification that moving forward, the terms of the lease will be strictly enforced so that the landlord can once again evict according to the terms of the lease. If I have missed something in the code regarding the acceptance of late and/or partial rent payments in Ohio could you please point me to the relevant code section? Thank you.

Originally posted by @Jill F. :

@James Wise , @Tom Ott

I am not a lawyer but this is not my understanding of the ORC, As I understand it, an Ohio  landlord may not accept any payment AFTER filing eviction without restarting the process. Otherwise, acceptance of partial payment only delays the ability to file an eviction until the tenant is no longer "current" on rent. For example, if a landlord was to accept half the rent then the tenant is current through the middle of the month at which point if the tenant does not pay the remainder owed then the landlord can immediately deliver a 3-day notice. Additionally, routine acceptance of late rent can effectively change the due date requiring the landlord to send written notification that moving forward, the terms of the lease will be strictly enforced so that the landlord can once again evict according to the terms of the lease. If I have missed something in the code regarding the acceptance of late and/or partial rent payments in Ohio could you please point me to the relevant code section? Thank you.

 Doesn't work that way. You need to wait until the following month to serve the tenant a 3 day if you accept a partial payment.

Ex: Jan rent is $700. You accept a payment of $350 on Jan 5th. You cannot evict in Jan. You need to wait until Feb.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

@James Wise

I cannot find anything in the statute indicating that that is the case. Is that an interpretation of the code by a particular court?  The Ohio revised code is online; can you point me to the relevant section or indicate the source of this information? 

Originally posted by @Jill F. :

@James Wise

I cannot find anything in the statute indicating that that is the case. Is that an interpretation of the code by a particular court?  The Ohio revised code is online; can you point me to the relevant section or indicate the source of this information? 

 Source; Me...I evict 100+ people per year.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

Thank you for your response.

Any in Summit County? I'm curious because the attorney I use has not given me this guidance-- he wrote my lease so that it is clear that acceptance of a partial payment should not prevent my right to evict; The Ohio revised code as far as I can tell does not specify a requirement to wait until the following month. However, it seems to me that a given magistrate can do pretty much whatever he/she wants so I'm trying to determine if I need to make a phone call to this attorney (who specializes in Summit county evictions) for clarification.

Originally posted by @James Wise :
Originally posted by @Jill F.:

@James Wise

I cannot find anything in the statute indicating that that is the case. Is that an interpretation of the code by a particular court?  The Ohio revised code is online; can you point me to the relevant section or indicate the source of this information? 

 Source; Me...I evict 100+ people per year.

Are you a property manager? Evicting 100+ people per year seems like a LOT of evictions

Originally posted by @Brianne H. :
Originally posted by @James Wise:
Originally posted by @Jill F.:

@James Wise

I cannot find anything in the statute indicating that that is the case. Is that an interpretation of the code by a particular court?  The Ohio revised code is online; can you point me to the relevant section or indicate the source of this information? 

 Source; Me...I evict 100+ people per year.

Are you a property manager? Evicting 100+ people per year seems like a LOT of evictions

 Yes, we have a very large portfolio. Roughly $50M value.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633
Originally posted by @Jill F. :

Thank you for your response.

Any in Summit County? I'm curious because the attorney I use has not given me this guidance-- he wrote my lease so that it is clear that acceptance of a partial payment should not prevent my right to evict; The Ohio revised code as far as I can tell does not specify a requirement to wait until the following month. However, it seems to me that a given magistrate can do pretty much whatever he/she wants so I'm trying to determine if I need to make a phone call to this attorney (who specializes in Summit county evictions) for clarification.

 Unfortunately as I have gone through more & more evictions in many different courts I have come to realize that the magistrates take a lot of liberties when it comes to interpreting ORC. On top of that individual cities typically have their own set of Landlord Tenant policies on top of the ORC. 

Sometimes magistrates don't even interprete the rules consistently. Ex: Once we were in Cleveland housing court & the magistrate decided to throw out our eviction because the font used on the 3 Day notice was not large enough. He felt that a particular part of it needed to be larger & more predominant then the rest of the font on the notice. Ok fine, however the rub is that same magistrate had ruled in our favor on 50+ evictions using that exact same 3 Day notice prior to that day. 

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

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