Is there a dollar amount limit in late fees that a landlord can charge a tenant?

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Is there a dollar amount limit in late fees that a landlord can charge a tenant?

Can a tenant be charged $15/day late fee for rent? can they still be charged for the month if they moved out mid month after rent was due, and still be liable for the rent/late fees? Yes there is a contract involved, and yes it was signed by an “of age” individual.

Asked on August 4, 2011 West Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most states have laws limiting the amount of the fee for late rent in an amount of a set amount usually 10% of the monthly rent per month and not on a set amount per day. Most states' laws consider a daily penalty of $15.00 per day in violation of public policy as an unconscionable charge which easily could exceed the monthly rent of a tenant depending upon how many days the rent goes unpaid beyond the due date.

If a tenant vacates a rented unit without giving the required notice on a month-to-month lease (example thirty days) the former tenant would very well be responsible for the daily rent of the lease where proper notice was not given. If the lease is one for a set term and the tenant vacates the unit before the term has ended (3 months left on the lease), the tenant would be responsible for the balance of time on the lease.


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