Accept partial rent, then serve a 3 day notice?

17 Replies

I have a tenant that in the past few months she has been late on paying rent. She would pay a portion first, then more later during the month. This has been going on for the last six months and I am getting tired of this.  I know she is having a hard time to come up with the full rent since her roommate moved out.  This coming month I am planning to take whatever she gives me first, and give her until the 15th to pay all of it.  Otherwise, I will give her a 3 day notice, then evict her.

My question is, if I take part of the rent , can I still give her the 3 day notice?

Yes, you can take partial pay and then give a three day notice. This is a difficult job when we have to deal with people that just don’t have the money. 

Why doesn't she find another roommate?

@Roy Lam

What does the lease say? What do the laws in your state say.... 

If it was me I would Not take the money and just flat out tell them I am filing a 3 day notice. Then file the eviction after that.  Be clear! Communicate through the whole process. It’s amazing how tenants find money when the know you are serious. 

Good luck out there. 

No. Here in Georgia, a very very landlord friendly state, you cannot accept partial rent and file a 3 day. You need to wait until the next month. I’m sure California is much more tenant friendly, so I’ll only assume the answer is no.

I don't know how California rental laws work but wouldn't accepting a partial payment prior to an eviction automatically restarts the eviction process? That is what I have been reading in many of these forums.

She tried different roommates, but didn't work out.  I just thought if I take part of the rent before I file for eviction, I would not lose as much as a full month's rent.  anybody know a good eviction lawyer in Los Angeles area?

If she eventually pays every month she may not be expecting a notice to vacate. You have kind of set a precedent of accepting partial payments. You may want to tell or warn her that partial payments aren’t allowed and that you’ve worked with her but it looks like she needs to find a cheaper place. Maybe she will just move on her own.

Dont accept the partial payment if you are trying to evict.

@Roy Lam ,

Yes, you can give her a three day notice on the balance of the rent after she pays you.  It's definitely hard when you have a tenant move out.  To me, it sounds like she is trying to make this work.  I would try to keep her as a tenant unless there is more to the story.

Maybe you could help her find a roommate or provide some info on where she could look to find someone.  This would save you the cost of turning the place, loss of rent and then rerenting the home.

If you are set on having her move out after you collect a partial payment why not try to work with her on getting out.  Is there a reason to go directly to eviction?  Give her the three day notice and then ask her if she has somewhere to go or has another option.  Usually tenants don't but it's worth a try to do a "cash for keys" option.  It may take another week but save you several hundred dollars if she will move out willingly.

I have been doing this for 17 years in CA and it doesn't work often but I always try if there is a good tenant in the home.  

Eviction isn't good for anyone and you should do some research and be ready to explain how it can hurt the tenant, difficulty in renting again, costs/fees, etc. Explain it from the tenants perspective and don't do it from the landlord's view, loss of rent, turn, etc.

Good luck,


After 6 months of telling her it is OK to pay rent when ever she can it is not realistic to expect you can give her notice now without a warning. Which is the case when you do not serve your tenant every time they pay late. What you should do is give her written notice that partial rent will no longer be accepted and that if she can not afford to pay full rent on the 1st she needs to be looking to move. November at this time is too late to give fair warning however come December if she does not pay the full amount on the first you serve the three day notice.

At this point in time you have trained her that paying what she can when she can is acceptable. To reverse your payment policy you must  give fair warning.

I had given her a couple of verbal warning before, but now she is used to it.I am also thinking about raising her rent so that she would definitely not able to afford it.I don't want to go through the eviction process.

When is her lease up? It sounds like she had a roommate for a period of time and paid on time and then for the last 6 months has been late. If it's almost up just give her a notice of non renewal. Accepting late and partial payments for 6 months is a pattern that will stand up in an eviction court for her side. So if you can do it non renewal is an easier option.

Hi @Roy Lam I buy properties at the Trustee Sales in LA and we use for all our evictions.  Ask for David he's very nice and will give you great advice.

She's on month to month, but I texted her numerous times for the rent but she always not answered until she has the rent.  I warned her a couple of times that I would seek legal action.

Check your state codes and give her notice to non renew, what are you waiting for.

Not sure why you are on here asking when you have a M2M tenant, just get rid of her.

NO wait I see you are in CA, better get legal advice if you do not know your landlord tenant law.

She's on month to month, but I texted her numerous times for the rent but she always not answered until she has the rent.  I warned her a couple of times that I would seek legal action.

I second @Thomas S. First give her notice in writing that partial payments will no longer be accepted. Also remind her of late fees if she'll be late again. Than give her a call and explain that she's putting you in difficult situation and if she can't make the rent on time, you will gladly accept her 30 day notice to vacate. Ask her to make it official and deliver the notice in writing as well. Eviction should be your last resort. You're risking her not paying the rent at all, till the eviction goes through the court. 

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