I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
While WA law allows a landlord to assess a late fee for unpaid rent and unpaid late fees, a daily late fee is not allowed if the cumulative late fee for that month exceeds 20% of the monthly rent. The late fee allowed by statute is charged by the month, and in the case where a tenant does not pay rent for 2 consecutive months a late fee will not be allowed to be charged more than one time for the first month.
The late fee allowed under the statute is limited to the greater of $20 or 20% of the monthly rental charge.
So as an example, if the tenant pays rent of $800 per month and has not paid either August's rent or September's rent, then a late fee of a maximum of $160 for September and $160 for September may be charged. Here is the specific law:
Any late fee charged by the owner shall be provided for in the rental agreement. No late fee shall be collected unless it is written in the rental agreement or as an addendum to such agreement. An owner may impose a reasonable late fee for each month an occupant does not pay rent when due. A late fee of twenty dollars or twenty percent of the monthly rental amount, whichever is greater, for each late rental payment shall be deemed reasonable, and shall not constitute a penalty.
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