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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27665
Experience:  Lawyer
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I paid my rent on time at the managers office, in person,

Customer Question

I paid my rent on time at the managers office, in person, and the office lost my check. I had to pay $166.00 over my rent, , to stop them from issuing a warrant on me . My question is what is the best way to voice my concern to the corporate office for the return of the additional funds I was forced to pay at the last minute.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Why did you have to pay $166 extra? Is that a late fee? Does your lease allow them to charge that much?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Although I paid my rent on time, they are still forcing me, under the threat of eviction, to pay the late fee of $115 for rent and $52 late fee for water. I had to pay $33 for cancel payment for the check. That come to $205 over the original rent of $590.
I just reviewed my lease and I don't see any where in there that speaks of a late fee for the water bill.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you.

They can't charge a late fee for the water bill if it's not in the lease. And if they lost your check after you gave it to them, they should pay the stop payment fee. It's not YOUR fault they lost the check. If you can prove that they had it, you should be able to get that back. Late fees must be reasonable. A late fee of $115 sounds high. Even if you HAD been late, you might be able to dispute that. However, you weren't late. You paid your rent on time. They lost your check. So, you can seek that in court, too. You can actually file in Small Claims Court for reimbursement of the full $205, plus your filing fees. It would be illegal for them to evict you for suing after they overcharged you, although they may be able to choose not to renew your lease when the time comes.

You do have the option of sending a letter to the corporate office, explaining what happened, and insisting that they reimburse you as soon as possible to avoid getting sued. One way to make sure they hear your complaint is to have a local attorney send it, but if you want to avoid that expense, you can send it via certified mail. The more facts you include about the pressure they put on you and the threats the management made to take your money, the better, as long as every word is factually true or a matter of your opinion.

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