What Happens if a Tenant Makes a Payment after the Landlord has Sent an Eviction Notice for Non-Payment of Rent?

In Kansas, a landlord is required to send a notice to a tenant at least seventy-hours prior to filing an eviction action as the result of non-payment of rent.  The purpose of this notice is to provide the opportunity to pay the rent prior to being evicted.  If the tenant pays the entire past due amount within that 72 hours period, a landlord can not proceed with an eviction.  On the other hand, if a tenant makes a payment after the landlord has sent an eviction notice for non-payment of rent, the landlord generally can proceed with the eviction with the following important limitation.

In order to preserve the right to evict a tenant, the landlord must clearly advise the tenant that the acceptance of rent does not waive the right to evict, prior to receiving the payment from the tenant.  The best way to do this is through a written notice to the tenant that states the above.  This notice can be mailed, hand-delivered, text, or emailed, but it must be done as soon as possible.  If the tenant makes a payment after the landlord has sent an eviction notice in a drop box or by mailing a check to the landlord, the landlord should not deposit the check until the notice has been provided.  Moreover, if a landlord wants to be cautious, he or she could wait to deposit a payment at all until after the eviction judgment.

The laws in Missouri are quite a bit different.  In Missouri, if a landlord files a rent and possession action — a lawsuit that asks to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent — the tenant may pay the entire past due balance at any time prior to a judgment of eviction being entered.  Therefore, the tenant can show up at the courthouse with payment and avoid eviction by providing it to the landlord immediately before the eviction trial or hearing.  With that being said, unlike in Kansas, a tenant can be required by the lease agreement to pay any legal fees related to an eviction.  Therefore, in order to avoid an eviction, the tenant must pay all of the costs incurred by the landlord.

Whether you are in Kansas or Missouri, one of the best ways to respond to a tenant that wants to make a payment after the landlord has sent an eviction notice is to offer to enter into a consent judgment.  A consent judgment is essentially an order that is signed by the judge, but based on the terms agreed to by the parties.  Therefore, an agreement can be crafted wherein the tenant admits to the judgment, but the landlord agrees not to remove the tenant from the property if certain payments are made.  If those payments are made, the tenant gets to remain in the home.  If the payments are not made, the landlord can immediately request the sheriff remove the tenant from the property without any further court proceedings.

About the author

Rick Davis is an attorney with Levy Craig Law Firm in Kansas City Missouri. Mr. Davis' practice focuses primarily on the areas of real estate and construction law and he regularly represents parties in all facets of the real estate industry. His past and current clients include real estate investors, developers, brokers and agents, contractors, homeowners, lenders, and others in the real estate industry. He serves clients in both Kansas and Missouri. Mr. Davis is a member of the Kansas Bar Association, the Missouri Bar, the American Bar Foundation, the American Bar Association Real Property Trust and Estate Law Section, and the Construction Lawyer Society of America. He graduated with his B.G.S. degree from the University of Kansas and earned his J.D. degree from Washburn University School of Law. Rick has received numerous awards, including an Martindale-Hubbel AV peer rating (the highest available) and being selected as a fellow to the American Bar Foundation. This webpage is a personal page hosted by Rick Davis and is not associated with the Levy Craig Law Firm.