The Rules Regarding Partial Rent Payments

With the current economic climate affecting tenants’ ability to pay rent on time, as well as increasing rent prices pushing away some prospective tenants, some landlords may want to accept partial rent payments in order to retain their tenant rather than risk vacancy. This is, in fact, something landlords are allowed to do, and there are specific laws around it. If the regulations are followed, it doesn’t need to cause a legal mess down the line when the landlord wants to recover the unpaid portion of the rent.

The mere act of accepting partial rent doesn’t actually require a form at all. Since it benefits the tenant and it’s the landlord that must agree to it, it’s not a conflict unless the landlord wants to recover the rest of it. If the landlord is feeling generous, or desperately wants to keep their tenant, they could simply accept partial rent and take no further action. But there certainly are legal avenues for the landlord to recover it. The landlord could issue a partial payment agreement which states the amount received, balance due, due date of deferred balance, the tenant’s promise to pay the deferred amount, and an explanation of the consequences of nonpayment.

If the landlord doesn’t want to use this form, the rules for any nonpayment can apply. The rules vary by property type, but regardless of property type, the landlord would issue a three-day notice. This could be a notice to pay, a notice to perform followed by a notice to quit, or a notice to pay or quit, depending on the type of property. It’s also important to note that in the case of partial payment for residential property, the landlord cannot reclaim repeated partial payments if they are using the three-day notice. If the landlord has already accepted a partial payment, then accepts another partial payment for the same rent period during the notice period, the notice is no longer valid.

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