What does it mean if the contract reads: rent must be paid by the 11th of the month or a court order will be filed with the courts?

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What does it mean if the contract reads: rent must be paid by the 11th of the month or a court order will be filed with the courts?

This question pertains to property management. My contract that I signed states, “If payment is not received by the 11th of the month they will file with court and I will be responsible for the $150 filing and court cost. I made the payment at 4:18 pm est on the 11th. They told me that I was suppose to pay by 8am on the 11th, but it is not on my contract. I showed them my contract and nowhere on there does it say by 8am on the 11th. My court date is scheduled for the 26th, and I tod them I would see them in court. since, they have sent two letters. i received the last letter requesting the payment by 5-22-09 at 5pm or they will proceed with eviction process and padlock my door. My question is, if a time is not specified on my contract and I paid on the 11th, am I held liable for the $150 filing fee and court cost?

Asked on May 21, 2009 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Unless there is something peculiar about North Carolina law (and I am not admitted to practice in your state) you should be okay so long as the payment was made during business hours on the date payment was due. 

There may be another provision in the lease that specifies that if they go to court to collect late rent you are responsible for collection costs and court fees. If that is the case the date the rent would be due would control whether you are late.

If as I suspect there are 2 inconsistent provsions in the lease (and when many legal documents, especially mass produced forms, are closely examined there are internal inconsistencies) then it would take a careful reading of the exact language to sort things out. The specific wording typically prevails over the general.


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