If a tenant broke their lease and owes 90 day termination fee, will they owe legal fees for collection?

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If a tenant broke their lease and owes 90 day termination fee, will they owe legal fees for collection?

Per the lease agreement, tenant owes 90 day termination fee. I allowed it to be paid on a monthly basis in lieu or rent. Unable to contact tenant and no payment has been made on the 2nd/3rd installment. Will they have to pay legal fees to collect?

Asked on February 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you are entitled to attorney fees if you have to collect on the written lease that your former tenants broke by not paying the full termination fee depends primarily upon what the written lease states. If there is an attorney's fee provision in the written lease signed by your former tenant, most likely if you prevail on your collection efforts you would be entitled to your reasonable attorney's fees for the process.

Some states have statutes allowing for the award of attorney fees on an open book account as well. I suggest that you consult with an attorney about the collection process you want to pursue against your former tenant and entitlement to attorney's fees.


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