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Landlord in CO is charging $20/day late fee on $850 monthly

Customer Question
rent. The rent is split...
landlord in CO is charging $20/day late fee on $850 monthly rent. The rent is split 3 ways and only 1/3 is late, but he is still demanding $20/day...seems unreasonable
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
7/22/2015
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 102,694
Experience: Attorney
Verified
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) the site allows experts not participate in phone calls and I may or may not be able to participate in this feature.I am sorry to hear about this situation. Does the lease state anything about late fees, or, not?This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Yes, it states Resident(s) shall incur and be charged $20 per day as late fee after 5pm on 3rd day of the month...such fee may be withheld from Residents security deposit
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
the late fees in dispute from jan and may total $520...I have requested multiple times this be waived due to inadequacy with their payment portal
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Thank you.CO does not have a statute that prohibits late fees. As such, it inherently allows them, and does not "cap" them at a certain percent of the rent. So a $20 day late fee is allowed especially if it is already pre-agreed to in the contract, and the $20 is not that uncommon.Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I want to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
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Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Now if you had an issue to actually MAKE payment on rent or late fees due to their online system, that of course changes the answer. If so, let me know exactly what happened and we can go from there.Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I set-up auto-pay for monthly rent on their portal and paid first few months this way. Then when went to revise payment to include additional fee and got stuck. Called them and their rep had same problem so ended up paying later in month after resolving. Then re-established auto-pay and had same ordeal in May, these are the late fees they are billing. The rep is no longer there and he never replied yes or n to my request to have fees waived so they remained on ledger. Also have never received reminder notice on rent being late...I am the guarantor in CT, this my son's apartment at college.
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Thank you.Then what someone wants to do is to go to small claims court, or threaten to do so. If the Judge agrees that the late fees/late payments could not be made due to the landlord's system that they insisted on using, then the Court may void these judgments. However, until/unless this is done, the late fees are presumed valid.Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I realize there is no statute in CO prohibiting excessive late fees, but also understand any judge would likely be offended by someone charging up to 70% of rent as late fee and/or not pro-rating the fee based on rent collected.Just to clarify, their payment system is an option...not mandatory, just horrendous.
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Possibly. This may be considered as a mitigating factor, although the primary consideration would be about whether or not the landlord made actual payment impossible.Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
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