How much to charge for rent late fee?

24 Replies

I just got nailed by the Judge for, as he called it, "egregious late fees"! I only charge one amount for late fees, $50. I use it as a deterrent to lead the tenant to paying on time. The rent is $600 and the late fee is a one-time $50.

I have seen late fees of $5 per day by some Landlords! Missouri doesn't have a law regulating late fees. How much do you think is reasonable and what do you charge?

We charge, as stated in lease,  $50 if not paid on 1st and & $10 per day. We typically hold late fees out of security deposit if not paid. I think I will be in front of a KY judge very soon to test the waters on another tenant. I'm taking them to small claims Court.

I need to up my late fee game, I charge $25 a day, after day three I'll stop taking calls/text at this point I get my attorneys involved and eviction is eminent. Fortunately I haven't had to enforce any of these rules because my tenants are the bomb diggity. I don't see $50 as bad if it was $100 I can see that as gouging them. 

I do $75 once it is late then $10 per day thereafter until it is brought current... I am in Texas though and Missouri may be less landlord-friendly. Also, I haven’t had a judge review my lease in court yet (knock on wood)

I charge $10 per day and cap it at $50. I don't want my tenants to be buried in late fees, but I do want there to be consequences for non-payment.

You need to check and see if there are any state laws or local ordinances about how much you’re allowed to charge. I work for a nationwide management company and it varies state to state. Our standard is $35 but we found out in the area that we currently practice in CA that we are only allowed to charge $25. It seems silly but these types of things may already be determined for you. Doesn’t hurt to ask a local attorney who is well versed in tenant/landlord law. I doubt they will charge you to answer that question.

I use to do 20 dollars but that did nothing to phase tenants.  40 dollars seems to make them want to pay on time.  

50 dollars seems fair.  Judge memory must be stuck in the 90s for what things cost.

My rents are low 500-800 dollars

I charge $25 per day.  However, we had a similar situation when we got one of these ridiculous judges as one of our eviction cases not too long ago.  He wasn't so much concerned with the $25 per day, but when it was beyond 20% of the rental rate, he said it was excessive, and limited it to the 20%.  Better than nothing, but still ridiculous.

It sounds like you got a bad judge.  

One suggestion is to spread out fees instead of lumping them in as a late fee (another tip our judge gave us) including an administrative fee for processing the eviction notice or late notice, postage and handling fee for typing up and mailing the late notice (this is obviously small potatoes, but a few dollars here and there add up).  Mileage fee or service fee for driving over there to serve the tenant.  You get the idea...

I've never seen a judge award late fees and the odds of collecting anything are slim and none. Just be happy you got rid of the tenant and move on.

Under our landlord tenant regulations if a tenant has not paid by midnight they face a potential fee of $190. All I have to do is process the paper work. 

Fully legitimate and no grounds to dispute.

@EddieMemphis    By 'nailed' I mean he subtracted it from my requested amount. There is nothing in Missouri law to substantiate his actions, but other than that, things went my way, so I'm good!

I'm going to leave the late fee at $50. None of the other judges has ever said anything negative about it and this is the first time it has been disallowed.

Originally posted by @Taylor Matthews :

Does anyone have experience with late fees when rents are in the 2000's+? Seems that $50 may be insignificant for those higher rent areas. 

Outs is $100 initial late fee and $20/day afterwards.  Late fees kick in after the 4th day of the month, this is on a rent of $2,300/month