CAN MY LANDLORD REFUSE MY RENT?

This is a discussion on CAN MY LANDLORD REFUSE MY RENT? within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; LONG STORY SHORT..... LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD MONEY IS VERY TIGHT IN MY HOUSE HOLD. I WAS NOT ...

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Old Jul 11th, 2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Unhappy CAN MY LANDLORD REFUSE MY RENT?

LONG STORY SHORT..... LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD MONEY IS VERY TIGHT IN MY HOUSE HOLD. I WAS NOT ABLE TO PAY MY RENT ON JUNE 5TH I GOT A THREE DAY PAY OR VACATE. THE SAME DAY I FAXED THAT WITH ALL NEEDED DOC'S TO MY 401K HOLDER REQUESTIN A HARDSHIP WITHDRAWL. HOWEVER BECAUSE IT WAS FRIDAY AND I AM PACIFIC TIME AND THEY ARE EAST COAST TIME THEY DID NOT RECIEVE THE REQUEST UNTIL MONDAY JUNE 8TH. KEEP IN IN MIND JUNE 8TH WAS ALSO MY 3 DAY DEADLINE. THEY CALLED ME (401K) TO TELL ME I COULD TAKE OUT THE AMOUNT IN FULL TO COVER MY RENT BUT SINCE IT WAS ALSO THE DUE DATE OF THE 3 DAY PAY OR VACATE NOTICE THEY WOULD NEED IN WRITING SOMETHING THAT SAID BETWEEN THAT DAY AND THE SHORT TIME IT TOOK THE CHECK TO COME IN THE MAIL THAT ME AND MY KIDS WOULD NOT BE DISPLACED. OTHERWISE THEY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ISSUE THE CHECK. MY LANDLORD REFUSED AND NOW I AM BEING EVICTED FOR NON PAYMENT???? IS THIS LEGAL..... I EVEN HAD ENOUGH TO COVER THE LATE CHARGES..... MY LEESE WOULD NOT HAVE ENDED UNTIL OCT 31ST 2009. NOW I WILL HAVE TO PAY ALL THOSE MONTHS RENT??????? PLEASE HELP
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Old Jul 11th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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Default re: CAN MY LANDLORD REFUSE MY RENT?

Very sorry for your circumstances here. Without knowing your state, unfortunately it is impossible to give you an answer with certainty. This is on account of the great discrepancy in landlord-tenant laws. Some states provide a great deal of legal protections (i.e. New York, California), while other provide very few (i.e. many Southern states). The best advice I can give is to contact your local legal aid society immediately for some guidance -- especially since children are at risk of being displaced. I hope things work out for your and your family.
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Old Jul 12th, 2009, 12:09 AM   #3
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Default re: CAN MY LANDLORD REFUSE MY RENT?

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LONG STORY SHORT..... LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD MONEY IS VERY TIGHT IN MY HOUSE HOLD. I WAS NOT ABLE TO PAY MY RENT ON JUNE 5TH I GOT A THREE DAY PAY OR VACATE. THE SAME DAY I FAXED THAT WITH ALL NEEDED DOC'S TO MY 401K HOLDER REQUESTIN A HARDSHIP WITHDRAWL. HOWEVER BECAUSE IT WAS FRIDAY AND I AM PACIFIC TIME AND THEY ARE EAST COAST TIME THEY DID NOT RECIEVE THE REQUEST UNTIL MONDAY JUNE 8TH. KEEP IN IN MIND JUNE 8TH WAS ALSO MY 3 DAY DEADLINE. THEY CALLED ME (401K) TO TELL ME I COULD TAKE OUT THE AMOUNT IN FULL TO COVER MY RENT BUT SINCE IT WAS ALSO THE DUE DATE OF THE 3 DAY PAY OR VACATE NOTICE THEY WOULD NEED IN WRITING SOMETHING THAT SAID BETWEEN THAT DAY AND THE SHORT TIME IT TOOK THE CHECK TO COME IN THE MAIL THAT ME AND MY KIDS WOULD NOT BE DISPLACED. OTHERWISE THEY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ISSUE THE CHECK. MY LANDLORD REFUSED AND NOW I AM BEING EVICTED FOR NON PAYMENT???? IS THIS LEGAL..... I EVEN HAD ENOUGH TO COVER THE LATE CHARGES..... MY LEESE WOULD NOT HAVE ENDED UNTIL OCT 31ST 2009. NOW I WILL HAVE TO PAY ALL THOSE MONTHS RENT??????? PLEASE HELP
First, my answer is based upon California law. If you reside elsewhere on the West Coast, the answer may not apply to you.

The 3 day pay or quit notice is just that - you have 3 days to pay the rent due or be evicted for non-payment. If the LL had decided to accept the rent after the deadline, he would waive his right to evict you. It doesn't matter that you had it after, he decided not to waive notice and that is the LLs right if he chooses.

The question I have is if you knew your rent would be late, why not explore your options to get the money sooner? Did your 401k provider only honor your request for hardship withdrawal because of the 3 day notice, or could you have requested the withdrawal sooner?

Had you been late with rent previously? If so, that is likely the reason LL decided to give you the notice and stick with the deadline. He's probably had enough late payments and didn't want to deal with it anymore.
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Old Jul 13th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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Default re: CAN MY LANDLORD REFUSE MY RENT?

Although this matter is probably settled by now, for other readers:

As sandyclaus said, a pay or vacate is just that. Pay or move out. But what s/he didn't say was that those 3 days normally do not include weekends, holidays, or the day it is served to you. So a notice served on Friday June 5th, may not expire until Wednesday June 10th and the LL could not file eviction until the 11th. The 3 days would be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. After the 3 days are up, the LL may not have to accept your payment. Depends on the state - some require the LL to accept payment up to the hearing date, others don't. And we don't know your state. Some states don't even require the LL to give a pay or quit notice. In those states, a LL can issue an unconditional quit notice and you have no chance to pay.

You should have been able to show the 3 day Pay or Quit notice to the 401k as proof that you needed the money. That should have been enough to get the hardship withdrawal that you needed. I too question why you didn't plan ahead when you knew you wouldn't be able to pay your rent on time?

Also, you may not be obligated to pay the extra months of rent until the lease ends. You will be obligated to pay rent until re-rented, advertising costs, unpaid utilities, and other expenses. But many states' laws say the LL is obligated to attempt to promptly re-rent the unit. You would only be liable for a couple of months of rent in these states at most. Other states say he has no duty to re-rent at all, making you liable for the whole lease. And yet other states say your obligation for rent ends when he evicts you. Without knowing your state we can't say which you are in.
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