How much can a property management company charge me in late fees on rent?

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How much can a property management company charge me in late fees on rent?

My rent is 812.89 a month. If I am late on my rent I have to pay $120late fee charge if rent is receive after the first. And than $20 a day after that. Is that legal?

Asked on February 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Alaska

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A landlord in your state cannot accept a security deposit in excess of 2 months periodic rent.  It would appear that the excessive amount of the late fees could not only be seen as unfair and deceptive under your state's statutes but it could be seen as a hidden method of skirting the prohibition of collecting a security deposit of more than 2 month's rent. The law is silent as to how much you can be charged for late charges but the notion of always being reasonable and not abusive is the general rule of thumb.  In your situation, the late charge appears to be a bit excessive.  Understand though you can be held criminal liable for non payment if your landlord successfully obtains an eviction action against you.  The best bet is to file a complaint with your local HUD office or attorney general to help you obtain a refund of most of the late charges collected from you or to help you get out of your lease and obtain your security deposit minus reasonable cleaning and repair costs.


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