Eviction: Tenant can void with partial ACH payment - advice?

12 Replies

Tenant is just receiving Summons and Complaint, now has 5 days to respond to Unlawful Detainer Complaint for nonpayment of rent. 

In California, if the landlord accepts any rent during the eviction process, the eviction process is voided. Previously, my tenant has paid me by depositing directly into my account or using Chase QuickPay, also direct to account.

Should I close the account (an inconvenience for other tenants, but guarantee no rent deposited)?

Alternately, would you recommend I allow her to void the eviction if she pays what she owes, which she claims she will do on the 1st (but has not when she promised to pay on the 6th and 15th)?


I would closing this account and not allowing her to pay unless she has ALL the money. She is training you, not the other way around. In Florida, we can accept partial payments with them signing a stipulation on what day and how much they  will pay.. if they fail to pay on that day, the eviction continues right where it left off

This is why auto payment isn't always the best route unless you have separate accounts for each property. 

I am totally going from memory here, but I seem to remember my attorney saying the "partial payment" SNAFU comes into play if you accept any payment after she is given a rent demand but before she is served with a petition.  Perhaps an attorney can clarify or revise my memory.

Another thing I remember my attorney saying is if she does make a deposit into the account, you can "partition" it in the account (i.e. not spend it) and send her a written notice reiterating as per your lease agreement, you cannot accept partial payments, and her most recent deposit is being held in the account in which it was deposited, pending the outcome of the litigation" or something similar.

I, too, use a common bank account for tenants of the same building, so that's what he told me to do when I had a similar situation a few years ago.

Of course, YMMV and this may not wash in your jurisdiction.  Check with your attorney on how to proceed, but I'd be surprised if they told you to close the account to the detriment of your other tenants' payments.

If you use Chase QuickPay, you can reject the deposit if it isn't the full amount.  Just go into your Zelle send/receive activity and find the pending deposit and reject it.  It will return it to her and tell her it was rejected.  You can even include a note with the rejection that states that it is a partial payment and that is not acceptable.

Alternatively, you can send HER a request for the full amount, so that when she goes to pay, she uses the request you originated.

I don't see why you should go to such dramatic options to close your account.  Are you going to have to set up a new account every time someone gets behind?  That doesn't seem like a reasonable solution.

Regarding "letting" her continue her lease if she pays in full, you may want to verify with CA landlord Tenant law on this.  In AZ, if the Tenant pays all that is owed prior to going to court, the lease is made whole, and continues.  There is no choice for the landlord to terminate for non-payment as that is no longer an issue.  However, once you go to court, THEN the landlord has the option to continue with the evicition, or accept payments to continue the lease.  So, make sure you know your options prior to making any moves either way.

Thanks for the thw information regarding rejecting Zelle payments! Very helpful. 

To clarify, this Tenant has received a 3 day notice over two weeks ago. My understanding of CA law is that after the 3 day expires, the Landlord is not required to accept payment. 

This Tenant has been extremely difficult and has never paid rent on time in her 5 month tenancy. After attempting to work with her and even changing her lease to accept rent by the 5th, this is the best course of action. 

Glad I won’t need to close my account though!

Just dealt with this issue with a late paying tenant. Could not find an option for rejecting payment, so got on  the phone with Chase CS, the REP confirmed the application no longer contains a feature to reject payments. Maybe Chase handles this different in other states? 

You’re right - you can no longer reject payments with quickpayor Zelle, but you can return the payment using the dispute center. 

My attorney said in CA, immediately returning the funds deposited by Money order with a letter indicating rejecting rent with suffice for eviction.  

Was a little concerned about returning funds, and than having their funds revoked, NSF. CS never offered dispute resolution services. Fortunately tenant paid balance due, told them not to make partial payment again. Tenant seems to forget most of what I tell her, so could be dealing with again.