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"One rent check" policy being questioned

All,  I have rented out my house to 3 college girls (aged 19) and have signed one lease on which all three girls (and their parents - for the money) have signed. The lease clearly states that the rent payments should be made with ONE check (not 3 separate ones).    The first month's payment was given out to me during lease signing as ONE check.  Now, come Sep 1, it is time to send out the check for month 2. I just got this email from the parent of one of the girls that her daughter's trust will send out her portion of the check (i.e. 1/3rd the rent) directly to me, as "she doens't trust sending money to someone she doesn't know".  I don't want to accept partial payments like these, because if one of them defaults, then I cannot fight this in court (that's what I have heard). What can I do in such a case? Is asking for cashier's check an option? I dont want partial checks due to the risk of one bouncing, thus putting me in a situation where I accepted partial payments.  Help!

If you have specified within your lease that you require all payments in one form of payment; then I would stick to that. Make sure that your lease has a joint and severability clause which basically states that tenants are responsible individually and wholly. And accepting a partial payment initially does not generally mean that you can not proceed with eviction. AFTER you have initiated eviction for non payment, than you must be cautious about accepting payment. But Georgia code states that a landlord is required to accept such a tender from any individual tenant after the issuance of a dispossessory summons only once in any 12 month period. Any subsequent summons does not force this requirement.
Thanks Helen. So let me make sure I understand. What you are saying is that worst case, even if I do accept partial payments, I am okay as long as it is before initiating an eviction (if it comes to an eviction for non-payment). If I accept partial payments AFTER eviction proceedings are initiated, then I may have problems. Right?  Also, for the sake of this post, I would like to define "partial payment". When you say partial payment, do you mean a part (and not the whole) of the payment received? or do you mean the whole payment received but broken in 3 parts, all received on different dates? or both?  Thanks again!
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