Acceptance of Part Payment of Rent: Real Estate Radio Hour Legal Minute, March 1, 2014

“Acceptance of less than the full amount of rent due from Tenant does not waive Owner’s right to evict Tenant for any past or existing violation of any term of this Lease.”

The above-quoted language is perhaps one of the most important clauses in a residential lease in Minnesota.  Why?  Because for residential landlords in Minnesota, one of the most common mistakes made with a nonpaying tenant is accepting part payment of rent prior to an eviction action.  This was the subject of my March 1, 2014 Legal Minute, which you can listen to here.

Minnesota law is clear that in order to accept partial payment of rent and still be able to pursue an eviction action, the lease must contain a clause which explicitly permits the landlord to do so.  If such a clause is not included in the lease, the landlord’s acceptance of partial payment constitutes a waiver of the landlord’s right to evict the tenant for the month in which part payment is made.  However, the landlord can still pursue a civil action against the tenant for a money judgment regardless of the acceptance of partial payment for any month or months.

As always, archived segments are available here.