Tenant didn't make full payment. Can I... ?

The tenant sent me a check for $1200. Rent if $1600. Should I keep the check and give them a 3-day notice to pay the remainder? Or, should I send the entire check back and give a 3-day notice for full rent? I’ve been told not to cash partial checks, so that’s my momentary plan. The rental is in Utah. Thanks.


I don’t know Utah law. In my state, accepting partial payments creates problems. Even so, I would send it back and tell him to get the full amount. Let him beg, borrow and steal from someone else. You aren’t a bank.

Does your lease agreement say anything on this subject?

My leases have language that stipulate that if partial rents are accepted, none of the terms of the lease are changed and that acceptance of the partial rent is not a satisfaction in full for the entire rent due.

Perhaps you need to have your attorney update your lease agreement to protect your interests and preserve your rights in the event you accept a partial rent.

It would be easier to say if you gave a little more context… Is this the first time it has happened? Are you annoyed with this tenant? Is this a large enough problem that you would be willing to find a new tenant?

Personally, I would cash it and wait for the rest. I know rules vary by state, and opinions will vary by person - that’s just the way I would handle it.

They aren’t going to pay the rest. They justify that since there is a new rental house on the market down the street for $1200, then they are only going to pay $1200. I’ve already filed the eviction papers and they will probably get served in the next day or so. In any case, I’m sick of this “rental”. I’m going to just foreclose it; I posted a more detailed thread in the short-sale forum…