Monday, May 14, 2007

Appraisal Done, Rent Late

I got an email from my property manager this weekend saying the tenant in Rental #1 had not yet paid his rent. She sent him a letter and also spoke with him and he claimed he would drop the rent off in the PM company's night drop over the weekend. No word yet on if he did or not. I asked if the PM told him he'd also have to include the late fees in his payment and haven't gotten a response to that email. I checked the lease and the late fees are $35 if not paid by the 5th of the month and $3 a day after that, so I figure he owes about $56 in late fees so far.

Those are pretty weak fees, if you ask me. Three dollars a day is not a deterrent at all. Unless there is some Oklahoma law I don't know about, I'll be increasing those fees when this lease is up in November.

I did get confirmation that the appraiser was able to get in and appraise the property, so the refi should be moving forward again. The PM also told me the tenant had some maintenance requests. I feel no obligation to do them until he's current on the rent, but there is probably some law about that.. Anyway, the PM felt they seemed like valid requests that an owner should be responsible for and not the tenant. She's getting quotes for repairs and will get back to me when she has them. I don't even know what the requests are yet...


savvy saver said...

I have a $35 late fee if paid after the fifth in my leases, but no fee after that... and for good reason. On the 6th they get a 5-day notice of eviction on their door.

To me, adding a fee implies that it is okay to do something. By not having a fee, I've never (knock on wood) had someone pay late.

Dreamy said...

Be glad you're not renting in NYS, there is a law that prohibits adding a late fee to any lease. The contract isn't void, just the clause.

I'm glad I'm renting in NYS. I don't like late fees. Turns out the girl that lives upstairs and next to me, hasn't been around for about a month, and hasn't paid her rent as of the 11th either. The landlord was snooping around on Saturday and I've heard nothing from her.

Doug O said...

Shaun, usually the rule of thumb is that you cannot charge more than 10% as a late fee (if it ever went to court)... But then, there are always exceptions to this..
Late fees, if paid, actually have a nice net positive on any property (you should see the additional income resulting from late fees on larger properties - we're talking a few hundred $$ a month).. It just needs to be strictly enforced so that the fees are paid... You can't take the nice guy approach and waive them when they give you some sob story - it usually winds up they are pros at that type of thing and will take advantage of you until the cows come home..

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