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MShore Law
MShore Law, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 25285
Experience:  Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements
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My landlord is trying to charge me a $50 late fee on a $55

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My landlord is trying to charge me a $50 late fee on a $55 'facility fee'. I refused to pay an interest of 92% and instead wrote a check for $65 (the original $55 + $10) which was cashed. I paid my usual rent today. I just received yet another phone call reminding me that I still owe him $40. What is the percentage late fee limit that can be charged in California?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  MShore Law replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. Was the facility fee included with your rent as a monthly expense or was it an annual expense?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it is a monthly 'fee' in addition to the rent. The fee issupposed to cover: hot water (?), cable (which I was told was included in the rent) and trash pick-up. My lease is $1140/mo + the 'facility fee] of $55.
Expert:  MShore Law replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX fee is established by the lease and there is no maximum unless you live in a rent controlled area, and if the lease is silent to this then no late fee can be assessed. For your reference see http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/living-in.shtml#latefees
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
There is no late fee limit in California? I was reading some opinions online, even some o this site that the limits was 6% of the fee.
Expert:  MShore Law replied 5 years ago.
CA imposes a reasonableness standard. See Harbor Island Holdings, LLC v. Kim (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 790 [132 Cal.Rptr.2d 406] (liquidated damages provision unenforceable because it bore no reasonable relationship to range of actual damages parties could have anticipated); Orozco v. Casimiro (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th Supp. 7 [17 Cal.Rptr.3d 175] (late fee invalid because landlord failed to establish that damages for late payment of rent were extremely difficult to fix).
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