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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 29303
Experience:  Attorney
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We moved out after a 3 year lease. we were late at times

Customer Question

We moved out after a 3 year lease. we were late at times during the lease, the property management company never asked for a late fee except one time during the 3 years and it was 50 dollars he had us pay which is not what the lease states. We completed our final walk through and he told us the house looked fine minus a few minor things. Our deposit was $2000.00 I was expecting to get around $1500 back. He is now taking all of our damage deposit to cover late fees that were never collected. I asked him why he never collect at the time and he mentioned he didn't want to put salt in the wound. He is also trying to collect for 1 month of lost rent because he is saying I would not let anyone see the house, not true. He showed up at the house with out notice thinking we were out of town, we had already returned, my 14 year old daughter happened to be home and was surprised by the showing. He was gone and I received a phone call from someone I didn't know telling me he was coming to show the house, I told him he couldn't and that is the only time I told them they could not show it. My question is if he never collected late fees can he now take them from my damage deposit. all rent for the 37 months has been paid in full.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
What state are you in?
What does the lease say about late fees?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Arizona, it states $100 dollars, which I was aware of and asked and he said there is no late fee at the time rent was due, accept one time he had us pay a $50 late fee.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
he is listed as a property management company but he is not licensed,
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
The statute of limitations in Arizona is 6 years, so he has all that time to collect the late fees from you. The fact that he didn't collect them earlier isn't a waiver. The one time he asked for $50 instead of $100, you can call that extra $50 a gift to you (because that's what it was), but there would have to be further conversation to turn that into a reduction or waiver of all late fees.
Ariz. Rev. Stat., Section 33-1321D unfortunately allows the landlord to deduct from the deposit for all charges due under the lease, which is going to include the late fees. What the statute says is that a late fee must be reasonable. Section 33-1368(B). $100 flat fee is likely unreasonable unless the landlord can establish that it costs him $100 when you pay the rent late. Whether it's reasonable to have kept $500 is going to depend on how many months you paid the rent late.
If he didn't make any efforts to show the house other than arriving once without notice, he's not entitled to any rent for that month. If he's keeping part of your security deposit for the rent, you could sue to get that money refunded.
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