AgentRentals

Landlord options for collecting late-payment charges

Tenants can't ignore unpaid fees forever

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Question: My tenants pay their rent late almost every month but do not include the late fees as required under their lease. I regularly contact them in writing asking for late fees and insisting that they pay on time. They respond and acknowledge that they owe the late fees but they always have some excuse and tell me they will have to pay them later. I contacted a local governmental agency that I was referred to and they advised me that while the late charges I am seeking were very reasonable, I should be glad the tenants even pay the rent and not to pursue the late fees. This office seems to be biased towards the interest of renters and doesn't seem to provide reasonable advice. I have not taken legal action to collect the late fees but continue to keep a running balance of the accumulated late fees on a ledger that I send to the tenant. The tenants just informed me that they will be vacating in two months. I would like your advice if you think that I can deduct the late fees that we...