I have a tenant, who waits until the day rent is do to tell me that she could not make it to the bank to deposit the rent into my account. she called that night and asked if I could pick the cash up at the property. Our agreement is that she will deposits all rent moneys into the account provided to her on or before the first of the month. I was unable to drive to the property and pick up the rent so I notified her that she would have to deposit the rent into the account the next day.
So my question is, do I charge her a late fee because the rent was not deposited by the first? This is not her first or second time being late on the rent.
this property is located in southern California
Thank you for you help in advance
What does it say in your lease? I have a 2 day grace period and it's written on my lease.
If your lease has no grace period, she gets a late fee. Just tell her that's whats in the lease and you feel it's important for both parties to stick to what both parties agreed to.
Exactly. Stick to the lease.
Even if they are "just a day late" and you personally don't care, you should still charge the fee because it sets expectations.
I agree with the other comments. If it's in the lease, charge the late fee. With some tenants, if you give them an inch, they will take a mile. Better to follow the lease.
Does she get paid on the first? If so, and she can show you a pay stub that says so, it would be reasonable to change her due date to the 2nd - and tell her you're doing her a favor and any rent not received by midnight on the 2nd will get a late fee every time from now on.
I think it's tough for most tenants to pay on the first, because that's the same day they get paid. A little wiggle room, as in a grace period is fair, IMO. If they push the grace period, then all bets are off.
Document it, send the tenant a simple one page letter referencing the lease. It seems like when ever I slacked off and never was formal about communicating with tenants the problems always continued.
Thanks everybody for the great responses. I will be sending a letter to the tenant tomorrow.
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