How much can landlord charge for returned checks?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How much can landlord charge for returned checks?

State law states that if a check is dishonored by non-acceptance or non-payment, the payee may collect a reasonable handling fee, and if the check is not paid within 15 days of notice of dishonor, the payee may collect a collection fee not to exceed $40 or the face value of check (whichever is less), plus 12% per annum interest. Are the handling fee and collection fee 2 separate charges? Should the collection fee/interest possibility be mentioned in the rental agreement as well as the handling fee? (I have an agreement that just specifies a $30 returned check charge).

Asked on November 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The collection fee and handling fee under your state's statute are two different fee. The handling fee is the time incurred by the person who got the bad check to make a demand for payment of the check. The collection fee is the time and costs incurred in bringing a lawsuit on the dishonored check.

The $30 returned check fee charge referenced by you as to a provision in your lease means the handling fee that the landlord would incur when he finds out that he or she received a bad check and the demand to get it cured.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption