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Old 08-14-2014, 04:21 PM
 
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A couple of months ago I was late with my rent and was charged a late fee. I paid the rent but not the fee, and told the apt complex manager I would take care of it as soon as I was able. She was fine with that.
But yesterday I received a statement from her showing late charges for this month and last month. The rent for both months was paid on time -- these charges are for the outstanding late fees of $75.
Can they really charge me late fees every month on unpaid late fees? I now have almost $200 in late fees (the lease states a cap of $100/month for late charges). And it will be $275 by the end of this month when I pay my rent for September.
Am I obligated to pay this?
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:41 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 64,727,191 times
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Yes. When you first just paid the rent and not the late fee, this ended up the following month with your rent also being short because the late fee for the prior month was deducted from your rent payment. Thus you're technically "late" again and this will continue on until you get your account up to date. The cap of $100 is for current month's rent.

You need to pay your rent on time. If you're living hand to mouth and your employment pay date isn't matching up with your rent due date, you might ask management if it would be possible to adjust your rent due date so the two better coincide.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:45 PM
 
Location: City Data Land
17,054 posts, read 10,917,847 times
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Yes.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:51 PM
 
8,800 posts, read 7,633,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbizzaro View Post
A couple of months ago I was late with my rent and was charged a late fee. I paid the rent but not the fee, and told the apt complex manager I would take care of it as soon as I was able. She was fine with that.
But yesterday I received a statement from her showing late charges for this month and last month. The rent for both months was paid on time -- these charges are for the outstanding late fees of $75.
Can they really charge me late fees every month on unpaid late fees? I now have almost $200 in late fees (the lease states a cap of $100/month for late charges). And it will be $275 by the end of this month when I pay my rent for September.
Am I obligated to pay this?
Yes, it is basic accounting.

You were told you have a late fee. You did not pay it, so it is sitting there on thier records, and they can charge you a late fee because you owe that money from before. The only way to stop all late fees is to pay that $75 or whatever it is by now, and that will wipe your slate clean. You might look at it like interest on monies owed. you might want to check your credit report to see if it affected that which is WAY worse than you having to pay the $75 late fee.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:58 PM
 
300 posts, read 393,040 times
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What state are you in? I don't believe that LLs are allowed to tack on unpaid late fees to the lease specified monthly rent. Yes you own the late fee if your rent was late. But if your following monthly rent was paid for lease specificed amount on time the LL can not claim that rent was "late". Late fees and monthly contracted are two different charges. Today write a check for the orignal late fee. Send it now don't wait for next mont's rent to be due. Write a letter expaling that your rent for XX month paid in full and on time and no late fee is due for XX month. Send it now don't wait for next mont's rent to be due This month write a spreate check for the monthly contracted rent amount. Sounds like a case where land lord doesn't understand simple account methods assoicated with rental income.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:30 PM
 
8,800 posts, read 7,633,097 times
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Originally Posted by blu4u View Post
What state are you in? I don't believe that LLs are allowed to tack on unpaid late fees to the lease specified monthly rent. Yes you own the late fee if your rent was late. But if your following monthly rent was paid for lease specificed amount on time the LL can not claim that rent was "late". Late fees and monthly contracted are two different charges. Today write a check for the orignal late fee. Send it now don't wait for next mont's rent to be due. Write a letter expaling that your rent for XX month paid in full and on time and no late fee is due for XX month. Send it now don't wait for next mont's rent to be due This month write a spreate check for the monthly contracted rent amount. Sounds like a case where land lord doesn't understand simple account methods assoicated with rental income.
Read STT's post #2 and it explains it clearly.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:37 PM
 
11,574 posts, read 16,620,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbizzaro View Post
Am I obligated to pay this?
Depends on your state. Not all states allow late fees to be added to rent in subsequent months. Many states look at a late fee as just what it states a separate fee. Example is North Carolina which prohibits late fees from being applied to rent or added to rent. The late fee is charged and is just added as an unpaid fee each month until paid. Even in a state like California it took years for the issue to work its way through the court to find out late fees were illegal, but I bet many landlords think they can charge late fees in the old fashion way and keep adding it to next month’s "rent". So, you need to find someone familiar with your state’s landlord tenant, contract, and commercial code to tell you exactly what is and isn’t legal.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:13 AM
 
26,950 posts, read 43,076,459 times
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When tenants fail to pay the late fee the next time they pay first the money they pay will be applied to outstanding money and than we will again tell that tenant that their rent payment is short for the current month. Tenants try to be smart and act stupid in cases like that but they will learn pretty fast.
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:24 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 64,727,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabrrita View Post
Depends on your state. Not all states allow late fees to be added to rent in subsequent months.
I believe the OP is in TX and this article addresses the issue there but with "may" repeated several times in the relevant paragraph:

Texas Tenant Advisor
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:27 AM
 
300 posts, read 393,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentlebee View Post
When tenants fail to pay the late fee the next time they pay first the money they pay will be applied to outstanding money and than we will again tell that tenant that their rent payment is short for the current month. Tenants try to be smart and act stupid in cases like that but they will learn pretty fast.
What you're doing is considered usury.
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