Partial Rent Payment from PHA Doesn't Bar Eviction Case
Facts: In June 2009, an owner gave written notice to a resident that she had breached the lease and must leave the premises. The next month, the owner filed an eviction case against the resident for failing to pay rent in a timely manner. In its lawsuit, the owner requested possession of the premises, judgment for the reasonable value of repairs for any damages to the premises, judgment for $139 representing past-due rent, interest at a rate of 10 percent per annum, and court costs and attorney's fees.
The trial court ruled that the owner had waived the right to proceed with the eviction case because it had received partial rent payments from the public housing authority (PHA) for the unit. The owner appealed.
Decision: The appeals court reversed the trial court's decision and ruled in favor of the owner.
Reasoning: The court reasoned that acceptance of a partial or full payment of future rent does not mean that the owner could not proceed with the eviction case.
The evidence showed that the owner received one lump monthly sum on behalf of 20 of its residents. The owner was entitled to receive the payments as long as the resident occupied the housing, even if there was an eviction action against her. The owner's acceptance of the housing assistance payments did not constitute a waiver of the notice to vacate and did not prevent him from taking action, because the payments did not constitute the payment of rent by the resident.
- Premiere Management v. Nutt, March 2010