Accepting partial payments during eviction process

I have rental properties in Tennessee and I’m trying to figure out a way to avoid a total eviction reset when a tenant who is in the eviction process makes a “partial payment”.

I’ve heard that if you write “all rights reserved” on a renters receipt it can protect you if you have already filed an eviction and the tenant sends a payment.

You can put the eviction on “continuance” vs having to start the eviction process all over and you give the tenant a second chance to catch up.

Another option may be to add language into the general property Rules and Regulations Agreement such as, “Once eviction process is started, partial payment may be made by tenant and eviction process, including judgment and possession shall remain in effect until payment is made in full and up to date.

Has anyone ever heard of this or have other solutions? Thanks

I wouldn’t do this due to people who would abuse the process and be serial partial payers. The overhead would be obscene even if one person did it each month. Okay let’s make another provision in the lease for that.

Then do you have to give special consideration in your lease to people who have been there a long time versus under a year? Okay another provision.

This seems like a program our government would implement. It’s complicated… :wink:

Once an eviction has begun you refuse all payments and continue with the eviction. At the eviction hearing you indicate what rent is owed and a settlement can be reached. To accept any payment is to acknowledge you are prepared to terminate the eviction.
If you want to evict you resolve all money issues at the hearing. If you want to simply get paid you make arrangements with the tenant and do not evict. You can not have it both ways or you risk loosing either way.

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Thanks you guys, The objective is to get the money owed plus court fees and not have to go through the entire eviction process once the tenant pays in full.

In other words, I’m looking for language in the agreement which states that if judgment has been awarded, and they pay in full before the sheriff comes to toss em out, we reserve the right to maintain judgment if future payments are not made in full and on time each month moving forward.

This would save another 200.00 worth of court fees & a lot of time, just call the sheriff and toss em out if they get behind again.


My first question is what the laws in your state/county are on this topic? We always seek counsel from someone who is very well versed in the state MHP laws - ie we hire the general counsel to the state MHI.

Your question is too vague to answer. The answer is it depends. In many states the answer may be “do not ever accept partial payment if you wish to continue with evictions”.

However, we recently acquired a park in AZ and there is a formal Partial Payment form which is legal and does pretty much what you are thinking. This part is great However, would I use this form in my parks in other states – not a change in hell.

Bottom line is what your lawyer and court systems tell you. I am all about pushing grey areas where there is no case law- heck the Rent Credit agreement is just that. However, partial payments is not a grey area topic.

Our experience has been the judge will do how he or she wants and it sometimes does not line up with the law. Most often it turns out if you accept any type of payment you have to start over.

We have all our residents make their deposits directly into our bank account. Whereas this works great, there has recently been a situation where the resident made a deposit after we had filed eviction papers and they had been served by the Sheriff. At the hearing, the judge allowed them to stay, even though the law (and the notice we sent the residents via certified mail) says that if they do not pay within the 3 day notice period, that the lease is terminated. Normally a resident paying and then staying would be fine except we had other reasons for wanting to evict the residents (than lack of payment). So, we had to re-start by non-renewing their lease and then again go through the cost and time of evicting them.