Renting 101 – What Are Late Charges?

Renting 101 - What Are Late Charges?When you rent a dwelling you contracted with the landlord that you would pay your designated rent on a certain date. This date is usually the first of the month. If that does not meet with your paycheck arrangements negotiate the date before you sign the lease. Once you sign the lease it becomes a binding contract. I encourage you to obtain the Landlord Tenant Act in your state. It is free and online.

The lease will describe what is considered being late. Late is considered one day past your designated due date and at the designated location. Not that it’s in the mail. It is important to take your rent to the office designated and get a receipt even if you have a money order or cashiers check.

As described on your lease, a late charge may be a percentage of the monthly cost, a daily cost or whatever is designated. There is no such thing as a grace period. I don’t know of how many people said they thought they had a five day grace period before it is late. I always refer them back to the lease. I explain that the bank or grocery store won’t give me a grace period, so how can I. Rental payments are a good indication on how someone will pay a mortgage payment. Banks and other institutions look at the length you have lived at a location, this shows stability.

I do encourage them to communicate with the person they signed the lease with. If you have been a good tenant up to this point and have had some unusual circumstances come up, explain them. Work out a plan and follow that plan up with a letter that you agreed to this to the landlord this will go along way in your creditability.

Paying bills on time is a habit that we all have had to grow use, to if we want good credit. One bad lease or decision can ruin your credit for years to come. If you decide not to communicate you may end up with a five day notice. This basically means you have five days to get the rent and all penalties paid or face eviction process. This is a form you don’t want to ignore. It is a legal document. The eviction process means more money added on for lawyer fees, processing fees. It is much easier to communicate and work out a payment plan. That eviction can and will prevent you from owning a home obtaining credit cards or renting another apartment. So keep communicating it is your best bet.

Thank You for reading my article. frankeckert@cox. net