Late Fees Not Being Paid

5 Replies


I have a tenant who is not paying late fees.  He pays late always past my 5 day grace period.  Sometimes I have to mail a 3 day pay or quit, and he pays up.  My lease states clearly a 50$ late fee, and I even sent a copy of the bank statement explaining he is 250$ behind in late fees.  The property is 3 hours away, and other than this he is not a problem. 

I am not going to try eviction over it mainly because it is difficult to find a tenant who will agree to do ALL repairs, and maintenance themselves on a rental.  Just wondering if you guys have any advice.  I even sent him an ATM card so he can deposit rent directly into the ATM which accepts cash.  I have been thinking in the back of my mind well he won't have much of a security deposit left when his lease is up.  Perhaps that is an option when he signs a new lease I request another deposit?  It is 750$ monthly with $750 deposit.


If your lease is written properly he is actually late on the rent and not on the late payment fees.  The money he is paying you should be applied to the previous late fees prior to being applied to the current rent so he is currently behind on the actual rent.

You've trained him that he doesn't need to pay you on time, you need to correct that immediately.  I would rather have my tenant pay me my rent than do repairs on my property.  If he pays me on time I can afford to hire a professional do the repairs.  If this were my property he would be getting a 5 day notice immediately.

How often do you inspect the property?  You assume he's doing repairs and maintenance but that may not be the case.  If you are inspecting the property on a regular basis then you could also be doing any needed repairs when you are there.

Not to sound harsh but you need to run your business like a business and not a hobby.

Not sure what you are looking for, have you tried begging.

If you are not prepared to run as a business, take necessary action to force payment of monies owed, you might as well drop your late fees and simply let your tenant pay rent when ever it suites him.

You either enforce the lease up to and including eviction or you let everything slide.

Check your state landlord tenant regulations, it may be illegal to use the security deposit for anything beyond repairs after move out. 

Personally I would have gone through with the eviction

Paying the rent but not the late fee would not have stopped the process 

Hello Again...

My tenant has gotten behind.  This time by a full month, but I took action starting two weeks ago when he was two weeks behind. I hand delivered a pay or quit notice.  I was promised the rent would be paid the following Friday, and as you can guess it was not.  Last week I went to the courthouse and filed an affidavit to remove tenant.  I contacted the court today, and my hearing will most likely be on the 23rd of this month.(Bad weather so the courts were closed a couple days).

My tenant contacted me yesterday, and told me about being out of town, and just getting back.  He has an ATM card so the rent can be deposited anytime as the ATM even accepts cash.  I didn't say much to him other than the rent is behind.  I was again promised Friday the rent.  My tenant does not know I have filed papers in court, and has not been served.

I had a few questions from the more experienced guys out there.  He is currently 250$ behind in late fees along with one months rent of 750$.  As of posting this he is now another 750$ behind in rent which is due for the current month. I collected a security deposit of 750$ when he moved in.  My state allows me to keep the deposit for rent owed. 

If he does pay any rent will that be mine to keep?

(I am only guessing, but it seems to me once he is served then I will most likely not see anything from that point forward)

From my reading since he did not pay within the pay or quit notice timeframe the lease has been broken by him.  I am not obligated to keep him as a tenant?

Any advice for preparing for court?  I have talked to the clerk at the court, and it seems fairly straightforward.  I was going to bring the lease, a copy of the pay or quit notice, and bank statement printouts showing what he has paid.

You might want to be careful as accepting any rent payment once you start eviction can nullify your eviction case. Basically it resets the whole clock and you’ll need to start eviction over again. 

Word of advice

Never let tenants do work on the property. Not only is it unprofessional, you can’t really know how well the job is being done. I do not allow any work to be done on the properties we have. About all I am ok with is changing a bulb maybe tightening a loose screw.

You need to charge your rent and find a handyman to do the repairs on the property.  

What does your lease say about late fees? You may or may not be able to charge those late fees against rent paid.  You can take them out of the security deposit but eventually you’ll run out of deposit.

I have a short capacity for late rent. I allow one late oayment with no fees we’re all human and s8met8mrs life happens. . After the second one I charge fees. If you decide not to pay I send a notice to terminate lease. That usually gets people to stand up and notice. 

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here