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Old 01-03-2009, 12:40 PM
 
5 posts, read 13,806 times
Reputation: 10

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My renter has payed late every month of his lease and it is now up. I am going to revise his lease and want to know if it is legal in California to write the same agreement I had to sign in Reno, NV.
My lease is due on 1st of month; $1050, with $50 discount if paid by the 1st = &1000 if postmarked by 1st. After the 5th, I have to pay a 10% late fee of $100. (so, if I pay on the 6th=$150 extra, which is deducted from my deposit that is held in a local bank)..I put up $100 deposit & ot a 'last month'. This works well as I always pay on time.
Is this legal in California, because I want to rewrite my tenants lease so he pays when he is supposed to. I was too nice with him at the start and gave him a 10 do grace and $50 late charge. He always pays 6-19 days late, even though it says in lease rent is due on 1st. He is taking advantage of me and I pay my rent, my mortgage on the 1st and srtill carry him every month. This last month he only paid half on the 12th, and the rest on 23rd. Didn't call, I had to call him. Now he is late again this month.
Any suggestions for a stricter lease. He enjoys a $500,000 house and doesn't take care of the yard or appreciate it. I feel I am giving way too much of my biggest and best asset to this guy and have no confidence in him. HELP PLEASE !!!!!!
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:00 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 26,608,164 times
Reputation: 3578
I would refuse to extend the lease. It's only going to get worse from here. Also, this belongs in the Renting forum..
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:02 PM
 
27,236 posts, read 55,645,344 times
Reputation: 21493
A couple of things...

First, you run the risk of constructively modifying the lease when you repeatedly accept the rent late... I know, it seems as if your being punished for being lenient or nice... but, this is my experience.... You know, Actions Speak Louder than Words.

This is from the State of California Consumer Affairs Website:

Late fees and dishonored check fees

A landlord can charge a late fee to a tenant who doesn't pay rent on time. However, a landlord can do this only if the lease or rental agreement contains a late fee provision. In some communities, late fees are limited by local rent control ordinances. (See Rent Control)

Late fees must be reasonably related to the costs that your landlord faces as a result of your rent payment being late. A properly set late fee is legally valid. However, a late fee that is so high that it amounts to a penalty is not legally valid.


California Tenants - California Department of Consumer Affairs

So... late fees can be used to offset additional expenses incurred.

Late Fees cannot be used as a Penalty.

I would think your proposed Late Fee Structure could be easily construed as punitive.

Just my non Lawyer opinion...
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:08 PM
 
Location: southwest michigan
1,061 posts, read 3,297,428 times
Reputation: 500
I would get a new tenant....
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,663 posts, read 27,561,201 times
Reputation: 5120
Time for a new tenant.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:23 PM
 
5 posts, read 13,806 times
Reputation: 10
I'll look for that forum area. I didn't see it one initially. ~
Hard to find a tenant who can afford that kind of $.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
16,255 posts, read 28,403,792 times
Reputation: 21651
Quote:
Originally Posted by maulwoof View Post
I'll look for that forum area. I didn't see it one initially. ~
Hard to find a tenant who can afford that kind of $.
The rent is only $1,000 a month and you are saying that it is hard to find someone to rent it at that rate? Not where I live where a studio will go for that amount. Maybe it depends on the area of the state that you are in.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
16,255 posts, read 28,403,792 times
Reputation: 21651
I just noticed in your post that it was a $500,000 home. Why are you charging the guy only $1,000 for a place of that value? Where is the home located? In Oxnard California a 3 bedroom 2 bath condo that you could buy for less than $300,000 would rent for $1,500 and the tenent would pay the association fees of $300 or so. A single family home would rent for $1,800 to $2,500 range for a home that is valued at $500,000. I think you need to reevaluate your situation, find out what the area rents for, and go from their. Maybe your right and the area doesn't have an available supply of renters. I know in the Ventura County area many people lost homes and had to find places to rent. Maybe where the home is located that isn't the case. Maybe this is the only guy available to rent your home.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:55 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 26,608,164 times
Reputation: 3578
He didn't say he was charging $1000 for rent, that was what he was paying in Nevada..
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:35 PM
 
Location: 38°14′45″N 122°37′53″W
4,152 posts, read 10,179,901 times
Reputation: 3423
Do not renew his lease.
& call a locksmith ASAP!
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