AgentRentals

Pay-or-quit notice comes with fee

Rent it Right
Published on Mar 12, 2009

Q: I understand that I will have to pay a late fee if I pay my rent late. But what about legal fees? I guess my landlord got his lawyer involved in my pay-or-quit notice, because the lawyer sent the notice, but then I paid the rent before going to court. Yesterday, I got a letter from the landlord telling me that I owe him for two hours of his lawyer's time. Is this legal? --Pat M. A: Whether your landlord can charge you for the time his lawyer spent preparing the termination notice (and possibly an eviction complaint) depends on what your lease or rental agreement says. If it has an "attorneys' fees" clause in it, take a look. You may find that it gives the landlord broad power to charge tenants for legal services that he needs in order to enforce the terms and conditions of the lease. This means that even if you didn't get to court, the cost of hiring the lawyer to prepare for court would be covered by the clause. Not all legal costs associated with a tenancy ca...

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