Does a landlord waive other rights by willingly accepting late rent payments?
Posted on January 10, 2018 by Texas Association of REALTORS®
The Texas Supreme Court recently decided a landlord still maintains the right to evict a tenant even if that tenant paid rent late on multiple occasions without consequences. The state’s top court reversed decisions in the case tried at the justice court, county court, and court of appeals.
The tenant had argued the landlord waived the right to evict since the landlord never assessed late fees or protested the late payment of rent, and the lower courts agreed. However, the Supreme Court disagreed, stating that “… as a matter of law, accepting late rental payments does not waive the nonwaiver provision in the underlying lease … .”
The court noted the lease required payment of rent “on time, in full, and without demand.” The lease also stated payment of rent more than 10 days late constituted a default and any waivers must be in writing and signed by the party waiving a provision of the lease. The court did not agree with the plaintiff’s assertion that the landlord’s willingness to accept late rent showed clear intent to waive other rights provided in the lease.
They definitely made the correct decision there. I understand and completely agree that collecting late rent without charging fees for too long can waive your right to collect late fees, but in my opinion, if a court stated that landlord waives his right to evict, that could open up a very significant can of worms.
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