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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33936
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I have an apartment lease that states "If rent is received

Customer Question

I have an apartment lease that states "If rent is received after the 5th of the month the Tenant shall pay a late fee of $75." Can the landlord charge the late fee for other items than the rent? Specifically: if sewer/water charges (a separate quarterly invoice) is not paid? If there are outstanding fees from a previous month, but the current month rent is paid? Can it be charged if a month's rent was mistakenly underpaid by like $20 --- if in July can July be assessed a late fee -- if full rent was paid in August can Aug be assessed a late fee?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only 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.

It depends on exactly what the lease says. If it just says what you put above, and doesn't address other items and doesn't include the other items in the definition of rent then those items would not be subject to the late charge.

The late rent can be charged each month it is late and usually what happens is if, for instance, you were late on the May rent then when you send in the June payment it gets posted to the May amount and thus you would then be late for June. This is standard accounting practice.

You might be able to challenge it in court but my guess is the judge would say it is all right for them to do that since it is standard accounting practice.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of something else.