Can Landlord charge me for…
Is it legal for my landlord to present me with their Sanitation bill and expect me to pay it monthly?
Is it legal for my landlord to say rent is due on the ist before 6:30 and put on a $50 late fee if it is late (on the same day)? Plus a $35 per day charge after that? I always thought it was due on the first and late on the fifth.
Edited on: Sunday, September 19th, 2010 9:41 pm
2 Responses to “Can Landlord charge me for…”
May 11th, 2009 2:08 pm
Yes – yes, yes, and no! That’s the short quick answer. Let me expand:
Landlord tenant laws are written to protect both landlord and tenant. The items you are referring to are established by the contract (lease agreement) you signed rather than by statute. The items your are questioning are negotiable terms.
Sanitation Bill– Can you landlord expect you to pay for the sanitation bill monthly? Yes, although, the sanitation and water expenses often times are paid for by the landlord- it is not required for them to pay those expenses.
Rent Due Date– Can your landlord set the due date for rent? Yes, this is negotiable. In the Rental Industry it is common to say rent is due on the first and late after the 5th, but this is a common practice and not law. Think of it like a car loan… the government can’t tell you what day you have to pay your car payment by, instead it is a date agreed upon by you and the bank. Same, with the landlord.
Late Rent– Can landlord set a time that rent is due? Yes. Most landlorda will say it needs to be paid by a certain date, but it isn’t real uncommon for a landlord to say it is due by a certain hour. This once again depends on the contract. If you signed the agreement, then its law and binding.
Late Fee– Can my landlord charge me $50 late fee? Yes. This however is something that can be regulated by state law. Some states will set a maximum fee that can be charged. Usually around 8%.
$35 Daily Fee– Can my landlord charge me a fee for each day that my rent is late? Yes and no. This again varies per state. Some states allow the landlord to set whatever fees they want, while others regulate it more. $35 per day seems high.
BOTTOM LINE– READ, Read & and read over your contract before signing it. Once you agree to terms, fair or not, you are bound to them. Don’t assume you know what the agreement says. If you don’t understand or agree with part of the lease, you can negotiate more fair terms.
May 11th, 2009 2:08 pm
I agree with the above reply, very well stated. I just want to say, that no matter what you do, never sign a contract unless you have read everything and are in complete acceptance to the terms of the lease. One thing though- you can always go back to the original contract and if the landlord is charging you differently from what the agreement says, you can refuse to pay.
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