How many days late can you be before your landlord can take you to court?

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How many days late can you be before your landlord can take you to court?

We are 10 days late on our rent. Is it against the law for our land ord to take us to court over the rent if the lease says that after our grace period we are just charged a late fee of $30? He hasn’t given us any written warnings about being late and we have given him a partial payment and are working toward giving him the rest. However, instead of waiting for the rest he is taking us to magistrate court. What are our rights and what can we do?

Asked on May 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Go and speak with legal aid or a tenant's rights group to help you here.   The laws vary from state to state.  I doubt, however, that the lease waives his right to sue you for non-payment or eviction just becuase he imposes a late frr after the grace period.  What I do think that you have going for you is that you have given him partial payment.  If he is trying to evict you the rule in some states is that the eviction proceeding for non-payment must fall once the landlord accepts payment. Answer the petition and raise this as an affirmative defense. Good luck. 


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