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Old 04-26-2017, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Brackenwood
2,692 posts, read 1,020,093 times
Reputation: 5422

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
Unfortunately if it's not illegal and you signed the lease agreeing you're stuck with it.
That may or may not be true. If the landlord is charging an ongoing late fee, they may have a legal duty to mitigate.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:18 AM
 
15,833 posts, read 18,465,933 times
Reputation: 25622
Quote:
Originally Posted by amfjdno View Post
Hi all.

I've lived in the same unit for about a year and never had a late rent check. The landlord doesn't live in the building, so every month we have to mail the check to her. It has to be there by the 1st of the month; after that we are charged $25/day in late fees.

On March 25, I put my rent check in the mail. I took a picture of it beforehand for personal records. But, I sent it through normal mail (no tracking number or anything).

This evening, April 18, I texted the handyman about a broken smoke alarm. In the course of the conversation, he said "the landlord mentioned to me yesterday that you didn't pay your rent this month, is everything ok?" I was totally shocked - somehow, it must have gotten lost in the mail, or been misplaced at the landlord's office - because I definitely mailed it, and have the date-stamped picture of it in my postal box.

The landlord has not attempted to contact me about this - no letters, emails, phone calls... nothing! If she had, I would have sent another one immediately. Now, I'm looking at $475 in late fees, and would have been even more if I hadn't had the chance conversation with the handyman.

So my question is:
1) is there an obligation for the landlord to notify their tenant that the rent was not received before they start charging late fees?
2) can landlords disclose my payment status to other members of the staff (i.e. the handyman) instead of telling me directly?
3) do I have any grounds to dispute the fee, given that I had no way to know the check didn't make it there, and have a perfect record otherwise?

I live in Missouri, if that helps.

Thanks!
You didn't have any bank balance discrepancy? I guess I'd be checking to see if my check cleared if I was facing 25.00 late fees. I'd also be sending it with a signature required upon delivery, or at least a confirmation of delivery receipt.

I am not sure what legal standing you will have.....Speak to your LL and see if you can work this out asap. Especially if you've been a good renter.

As far as her workman knowing, perhaps she mentioned this in passing when you were making demands on a house repair.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:44 AM
 
4,508 posts, read 1,903,792 times
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1. I check my bank account daily. I suggest everyone do that.
2. Why was the manager gossiping to the handyman about who hasn't paid rent? It's none of his business.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:48 AM
 
16,519 posts, read 17,561,528 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitey View Post
That may or may not be true. If the landlord is charging an ongoing late fee, they may have a legal duty to mitigate.
Again if in your state it is not illegal (this means against the law) to charge a daily late fee you're stuck with it.

Mitigation is usually for a lease break. In order for me to mitigate the tenant has to break the lease. At this time all we have is a late payment. Tenant has. It broken the lease. There isn't anything for me to mitigate

The LLmshould of sent in a 3 day pay quit notice. That was where the LL failed
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Watervliet, NY
3,682 posts, read 1,202,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyNameIsBellaMia View Post
1. I check my bank account daily. I suggest everyone do that.
That's what I said to do. Most banks have a 24-hour automated access line so people can check their current balance and see what debits and credits have cleared (or not). There is also online banking which gives people the same ability to check their accounts.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:52 PM
 
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula
13,597 posts, read 14,072,408 times
Reputation: 9692
In Arizona my contract says nothing except rent due on the 1st, no grace period, late fee is $15/day. Rent is to be deposited at any branch of my bank, I supply deposit tickets (PDF). (Each house has 3-4 branches within 10 minutes of their houses.)

However I don't like getting late fees. They make me feel bad seeing tenants waste their money like that. If I don't see their deposit evening of the 1st I send them a WTH? email. If that doesn't work I phone them. I don't care if I'm legally required to do it, I do it because I want to know where my damned money is!

I know almost 100% that next month one departing tenant is not going to pay their rent. I'm sending them a 5 day notice to pay or quit (despite the cost, I'm not in the same state). I can already tell this is going to be going south and I'll probably post a "help" topic next week.

ETA:

For a while I was living in a 5th wheel trailer in a trailer park with a nasty manager, and I paid by check usually a few days early and even though it was a check I always demanded a receipt. Lose my check not my fault.

Also, note that USPS can lose up to almost 1% of first class mail in my experience. Virtually all my billing, credit cards, utilities etc. are on auto-pay.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Brackenwood
2,692 posts, read 1,020,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
Again if in your state it is not illegal (this means against the law) to charge a daily late fee you're stuck with it.
Again, that may or may not be true in this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
Mitigation is usually for a lease break. In order for me to mitigate the tenant has to break the lease. At this time all we have is a late payment. Tenant has. It broken the lease. There isn't anything for me to mitigate
The duty to mitigate against damages is a broad common-law principle. It need not be specifically written into the statute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
The LLmshould of sent in a 3 day pay quit notice. That was where the LL failed
Agreed -- in fact the LL's best argument under Missouri law may be that the LL hasn't even notified her the rent is due.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:43 PM
 
8,323 posts, read 17,671,147 times
Reputation: 10907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitey View Post
Charging $25 a day in late fees? Don't fail to mitigate. You don't get to claim you're suffering $25 a day in damages while sitting on your ass and doing nothing about it.
$25 a day is cheap....again, you don't like paying late fees, don't pay your bills late.

Your landlord doesn't have to mitigate anything...you pay late, you pay late fees.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Brackenwood
2,692 posts, read 1,020,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim in FL View Post
$25 a day is cheap
No it isn't, it effectively doubles the rent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim in FL View Post
Your landlord doesn't have to mitigate anything...you pay late, you pay late fees.
Yes he does. The law doesn't permit you to turn a damage claim into an opportunity to profit from your own inaction.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:51 PM
 
8,323 posts, read 17,671,147 times
Reputation: 10907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitey View Post
No it isn't, it effectively doubles the rent.


Yes he does. The law doesn't permit you to turn a damage claim into an opportunity to profit from your own inaction.
Yes, it is cheap and if you paid your rent on time you wouldn't be paying that late fee.

No, he doesn't. Late fees are late fees, not damages. You mitigate damages, not late fees.
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