Can a landlord charge you late fees after you put the rent in the mail?

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Can a landlord charge you late fees after you put the rent in the mail?

The landlord said I have to pay a $25 fee for delivering a 3 day notice and a $15 per day late fee until the rent get to her. This is in her lease but the law say (from my understanding she can’t) because once you give it to the post office it’s paid in full.

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you placed the rental payment in the mail box addressed to the landlord properly with postage prepaid and the placement was done before the rent was late, under the "mail box rule" the rental payment was timely paid despite the fact that the landlord may have received the payment after its due date.

However, if the written lease contains a different requirement for receipt of the rental payment (actual receipt by the landlord) and she did not get actual receipt until after the due date, then the written lease that you signed controls the issue that you are writing about.

From what you have written, it seems that your rental payment was late under the terms of the lease.


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