How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33733
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
19958803
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Ohio landlord. Have tenant which routinely pays rent late

Customer Question

Ohio landlord.
Have tenant which routinely pays rent late if at all. Written and signed lease clearly states late fees. Once payment is received, how should it be applied? Can it be first applied to past late fees, then past (outstanding) rent, then current rent? This hierarchy will always result in the current rent amount being unfulfilled, thereby incurring additional new late fees which if not paid before the next month results in substantial accrual of late fees.
Rent Grace period of 4 days given, then late fee of $50 plus $5/day late thereafter. Is this unreasonable? Rent is $1100/mo
Appreciate your advice.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 8 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.. Once payment is received, how should it be applied? Can it be first applied to past late fees, then past (outstanding) rent, then current rent? .In the absence of anything in the lease to the contrary, you can apply any payment first to any delinquent amounts due (i.e. damages, late fees, etc.) and then any balance to any current amounts due. That way you get your late fees paid in full and the rent still remains late so you can keep the pressure on to be paid with a 3 day notice to pay rent or vacate..The other, nicer option would be to just deduct any late fees from the tenant's security deposit at the end of the lease..As for the late fee amount, if the tenant was to challenge it as unreasonable, a judge might rule that the initial $50 was fine, but the $5 per day would amount to a penalty, which is not allowed. Late fees are intended to compensate the landlord for loss of use of that money for the time period, not to be punitive in nature. So since it is unlikely that you could invest $1100 and earn $5 a day, a judge would likely throw that out if challenged..As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years.....thanksBarrister

Related Real Estate Law Questions