AgentRentals

Landlord: No more leeway for late rent

Why tenant turns to employer for help

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Q: My boss reads your column and suggested that I contact you about my landlord. I have lived in the same apartment for 12-plus years and have seen the building go through several changes of ownership. When the current owners purchased the property a few months ago they did not require any of the tenants to sign new rental agreements. So we are under a lease agreement that expired six months ago and has now become a month-to-month agreement. The terms of this agreement indicate that any rent unpaid after the fifth of the month is late, and the late fee is $75. The problem I have is that I get paid every month on the sixth and the last owner never enforced that late charge, but the new owner is very strict and won't work with me. So I have had to ask my boss to pay me on the fifth so I won't be late. I work at an answering service for only $8.25 an hour, and my husband is a dishwasher at $9 an hour -- so we struggle every month. The late charge of $75 is a lot of money, an...