Landlords beware, when a tenant is late on rent for more than a month (actually this is a good practice and small deterrent for even a few days late) only accept Cash, Cashiers Check or Money Order for late rent payments.
Our 3 Day Notice to Pay or Vacate is very effective but the landlords needs stay on the offensive and not get lulled into a sense of relief when the tenant says they will pay with a check. The tenant knows you are serious now and their BS is no longer going to work because Houston Evictions has become involved, but beware their cunning behavior is always resident. When the wolf smiles he is not showing you he is happy he is only getting ready to bite.
On a number of occasions I have had landlords accept a check for late rent that was thousands of dollars behind. The end result was not good.
Here is one true account taken place by this action.
- The tenant said: I am moving out but will pay my back rent. The landlord agrees to let them out of the lease if they pay and move. The tenant sends a check and moves out immediately. The check bounces, I mean really did you expect anything less, now the tenant is gone in a few Harris County Precincts and Fort Bend County you cannot prosecute an eviction lawsuit if the tenant has moved out after your demand letter, even if they lied to you. Therefore you have no way to get a judgment now for back rent. So if you sense that this could happen with your tenant, or they offer you a check say No Checks, Cash Only, then proceed with the eviction don’t wait for a check. You can always drop the suit later if they actually do pay. This way no harm no foul, but otherwise you are left out to hang dry.My Opinion: You should still get your day in court but not according to some precincts, because the tenant violated a legal binding contract and it should still be enforceable. Anyway a few precincts still have it right and will prosecute. I have had to tell constables though that call me and say; the tenant is not there. My reply is okay but they have a lease and we want the back rent, serve the notice please. Actually now that I think about it the constable that doesn’t want to go back to court to get the judges signature and the judge doesn’t want to be signing for a default judgment case and then the constable has to go back and tape the notice on the door, so it seems to them like they are just avoiding the extra work if they can. It’s a legal binding contract somewhere that fact gotten lost in the system. You are left at this point with your only recourse is to file a civil lawsuit which would just be an extra step that could have been avoided. Now it’s more court fees, more time and you have to hire a lawyer if you cannot attend, because your agent cannot go for you anymore.
Bottom line : Get only Cash, Cashiers Check or Money Order for late rent payments and proceed with the eviction!