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Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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My daughter in law is renting an apartment but she said the

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My daughter in law is renting an apartment but she said the landlord stated if she was late on her monthly rental payment of $600, there would be a $150 late fee. After looking at her lease I did not see that in writing. What I did see was in bold and this is what it says:

If the rent and/or any other charges, payments, expenses or costs herein reserved, included or agreed to be paid by tenant is not paid on or before the 5th day of the month in which such payment becomes due, landlord at its option may waive tenant's default and make a service charge for the purpose of defraying the expense incident to handling delinquent payments. Said service charge shall be 10% of monthly rent. Rent shall not be deemed received unless honored by the institution upon which the check is drawn.

Do you somehow come up with $150 late payment in the term of this lease just by reading the above information.
Based soley on the information you have provided, I don't see how $150 came up. 10% would be $60.00. Plus VA landlord tenant law can allow a processing fee for the late charge at $50.00 (if a bad check is used), but still that does not add up to $150.00 and further all of these charges would have to be disclosed in her lease agreement. VA law only provides for "reasonable" charges which have to be disclosed, so that is one basis your daughter in law can use to dispute the landlord's terms.

VA law here.

Bottomline: I don't see how the landlord can ask for this without full disclosure before the agreement is signed.

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