Property Management Education

Can landlords refuse tenant money during a legal eviction process?

Key Points:

  • The previously required 10 day wait period, during which landlords are required to accept delinquent payment from a tenant - has been extended.

  • Landlords must now accept full payments from delinquent tenants throughout the entire eviction process.

  • Landlords may continue to refuse partial payments.

There has been an important change in the requirements for landlords accepting payment from tenants during a legal eviction process. This change was made by the Colorado state legislature in Senate Bill 21-173, “Concerning Rights Related to Residential Rental Agreements.” This article does not cover all the parts of this bill, but we will address one aspect of it in regard to the legal eviction process and tenant payments.

Previously, in an instance where a tenant did not pay rent as due, the landlord's first step (as required by law) was to physically post a rent payment demand notice to the property. This notice provides the tenants an additional ten days to pay their rent, and should the tenant pay during this ten day period of time, the landlord must accept that payment from the tenant. This makes both practical and legal sense as the landlord’s goal is normally to receive rent, and the tenant's goal is to stay. Once the tenant pays in full - everything is back to “normal."

However, if after this ten day period has expired, if the tenant has still not paid rent, the landlord could take the next step in the legal process which is filing with the local county court for a trial date. The purpose of the trial is to either recover the rent money owed by the tenant or to recover the property itself, requiring the tenant to vacate.  If the tenant attempts to pay their owed rent at any point after this ten-day period, the landlord could legally refuse this payment and continue with eviction. This is rare, and would normally only happen in cases where the tenant has caused damage to the property or violated other lease terms to the point that the landlord would rather have possession of the property back rather than rent owed. 

Now, under SB21-173, landlords must accept full payment, at any time, until a judge issues a judgment for possession of the property back to the landlord. Evictions in the state of Colorado can take up to 90 days. If a tenant wants to pay their outstanding rent at any point in that process, the landlord is required to accept payment and allow continued residency of their property. This may appear as a “good” thing, and oftentimes it is. But, in cases where the tenant has caused damage or violated the safety of others, this new rule no longer allows landlords the ability to make that determination. 

Some other important things to note:

  • Landlords may decline partial payments.

  • Tenants may make the payment to the landlord or the court.

  • Accepting any payment amount from the tenant will terminate the eviction process and the landlord must re-start the eviction process.

This bill is effective as of October 1, 2021. We at Grace Property Management are always ready and willing to help in any way we can. If you have questions about the details of this bill or the eviction process, please contact us at 303-255-1990. Or, visit our website at for more resources. To learn more about SB 21-173 in regards to late fees, please reference this post.

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