Do you have to use paid late fees toward damages or can you bill the tenant for damages to the property?

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Do you have to use paid late fees toward damages or can you bill the tenant for damages to the property?

Tenant caused $1500 of damage to the property and the deposit is only $300. Tenant doesn’t want to pay the full amount for the damages…she thinks she is being taken advantage of. She did pay $300 in late fees the first month she was living there.

Asked on May 15, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Late fees have noting to do with damages to the apartment.

If the tenant had been late with the rent, and the lease provides for a $300 penalty (which seems a bit high), and the penalty is reasonable and not in excess of your state's laws or deemed unconscionable, that's sepatate.

The damages she owes for messing up the apartment are calculated separately based on the cost of repairs and what ever other standards are set out in the lease or state law. (I am not an Ohio lawyer.)

 

 


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