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Old 09-30-2010, 02:47 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,080 times
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My husband has become disabled (confirmed by three doctors) and has not worked in several months. He has applied for disability, but it is still in process. Due to this, during the last four months we have paid partial rent at the beginning of the month with the rest paid within 10 days, fortunately with some understanding by the landlord. In September we paid partial as usual, but were unable to complete payment until the 22nd. There is a clause in the lease calling for penalty payments if rent is not paid by the 4th of the month; it has never been enforced. The landlord has now decided to do so for last month. Since he hasn't in the past, can he now?

Thank you for your help.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:53 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 78,807,856 times
Reputation: 18599
Default The simple answer is probably...

If you are hoping that some judge will say the landlord's prior leniency / compassion for your unfortunate situation now forces the landlord to stiff his creditors because of your inabiliy to pay I really would not put much stock in that...

It is a funny thing. Your hardship seems legitimate, and your landlord seems like they have done all they can...
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
8,047 posts, read 26,646,588 times
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The short answer is yes. The landlord can enforce the terms you agreed to in the lease. The landlord being a nice guy and waiving late fees in the past does not obligate them to continue to do so. They waived the late fees for a short time as a favor to you. Now you have become a habitual offender (even if it is for a medical reason, confirmed by doctors, late on rent is late on rent) and the landlord is entitled to late fees.

Personally, if you had been paying on the 1st and 10th and suddenly didn't have money until the 22nd, I would charge late fees too, as that gives the appearance that the problem is getting worse instead of better. Usually that is followed by not having money until the 15th and 30th, and then not until the end of the month, and then not until the end of the month, and so on, until you find yourself 2 months behind.

The landlord would have likely been within their rights to serve you an eviction notice on the first day rent was late. Instead, they are willing to work with you, with the terms being that you pay late fees.
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:23 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 43,394,131 times
Reputation: 16225
No good deed goes unpunished.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
3,199 posts, read 12,591,286 times
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It's possible that while they were lenient for 10 days late, for 22 days late it becomes a real hardship for them, because their reports and payments to the owner, or main office, has a wrench thrown in it. Say their deadline is to submit all rents and reports by the 15th of a month - if a tenant is late after that, there's probably additional paperwork and/or a disgruntled owner waiting another week or so for their check. Perhaps it's possible to find a place that is a little less expensive so that you had an easier time?
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:22 AM
 
27,001 posts, read 43,403,906 times
Reputation: 15293
So you took his being nice as something you can use month after month...well every Mr & Mrs nice have bills coming in too and there is a point that enough is enough and Mr & Mrs nice have changed due to your own behavior so don't blame theme...

People always want to blame the victims...in this case the person who is waiting for his money...
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,490 posts, read 18,785,054 times
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In the past I have been lienent with tenants who were having problems. I would forgo late fees and or wait longer for the rent. When it becomes a regular process for the tenant and I begin to feel taken advantage of, I will begin to enforce the rules. I have told people that the end is here for the free ride and lease terms will now be enforced. Of the 3 people I have helped by letting rent go late, or foregoing late fees, all 3 turned on me as if I was the bad guy. And I mean turned on me as a mean, uncaring, selfish, money hungry slum landlord.
I will no longer ever give anone a break. I don't need the aggravation or the abuse.
I say these things in answer to the OP's question. A LL can enforce the rules whenever he/she feels the need. Be glad you got a break and understand that it's business.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:00 AM
 
10,490 posts, read 10,521,020 times
Reputation: 6988
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneSA View Post
In the past I have been lienent with tenants who were having problems. I would forgo late fees and or wait longer for the rent. When it becomes a regular process for the tenant and I begin to feel taken advantage of, I will begin to enforce the rules. I have told people that the end is here for the free ride and lease terms will now be enforced. Of the 3 people I have helped by letting rent go late, or foregoing late fees, all 3 turned on me as if I was the bad guy. And I mean turned on me as a mean, uncaring, selfish, money hungry slum landlord.
I will no longer ever give anone a break. I don't need the aggravation or the abuse.
I say these things in answer to the OP's question. A LL can enforce the rules whenever he/she feels the need. Be glad you got a break and understand that it's business.
Agreed. Landlords don't start out evil - tenants make them that way.
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