Is there a limit to how much a landlord can charge you in late fees?

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Is there a limit to how much a landlord can charge you in late fees?

Asked on August 11, 2011 Wisconsin

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Most states have laws setting the maximum amount that a landlord can charge for a late fee to a tenant. Typical late fees are around 10% of the monthly rental for the property. Any amount exceeding the typical 10% late fee that I have seen concerning various state laws on the subject have been considered an unreasonable penalty in violation of public policy and not enforceable as a matter of law.

If you have a written lease with a late fee provision, read it carefully. Its terms control the obligations between the landlord and the tenant in the absence of state law on the subject. If the written lease has no late fee provision, then the landlord cannot charge such a fee to the tenant for late rent payment.


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