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Re: late rent fees

Posted by consigliere on February 26, 2002 at 00:16:24:

In Reply to: Re: late rent fees posted by chelsea on February 25, 2002 at 18:54:29:

For a rent regulated apartment, the landlord could refuse the rent if the tenant disputed and didn't pay the late fees, and then go to housing court and sue for the rent and the late fees. If the late fees are legitimate (in the lease and reasonable), the court would give a possessory judgment for the rent and a money judgment for the late fees.

If the tenant paid the possessory judgment for the rent, but not the money judgment for the late fees, the landlord would have to go to the sheriff or a city marshal to collect the money judgment.

If the landlord accepted the rent without the late fees, it would probably have to go to small claims court and sue for the late fees. Housing court wouldn't be the appropriate forum if late fees weren't rent or additional rent in the lease.

: That's interesting, about collectibility of late fees.

: I gather a landlord could not start a nonpayment action based on a tenant's failure to pay late fees. How COULD a landlord collect then? Small Claims Court? Though Mr. Hasid is perhaps correct that the best policy is to pay one's rent on time, what should a tenant who is charged a late fee do?

: : A maximum late fee of 4% or 5% would apply to all apartments. For mobile homes, there is a maximum late fee of 5% in Real Property Law 233(r), if the rent is paid more than 10 days late and if the late fee is provided for in the lease or in the rules and regulations of the mobile home park.

: : For rent regulated apartments, late fees -- and legal fees -- are legal, but they can't be collected as a possessory judgment, even if they are specified as rent or additional rent in a lease. They can be collected only as a money judgment, which means that a tenant can't be evicted for not paying a late fee or legal fees.
: : :
: : : Consig,
: : : When you say the courts generally don't allow late fees of more than 4 or 5 percent, do you mean for rent-regulated apartments or all apartments? I've heard that late fees aren't legal for rent-stabilized apartments, even if in the lease, because the RSL and RSC only allow legal regulated rent, period. But I haven't had any direct experience on this point, so I'm not sure.
: : : Chelsea

: : : : If your apartment is rent controlled, and not rent stabilized, neither you nor the landlord probably has a copy of a lease. Therefore, the landlord can't prove that there is a provision for late fees.
: : : : If there is a lease, does it have a provision for late fees? If so, what is it? The courts generally will not allow a late fee of more than 4% or 5%.
: : : : :
: : : : : I am a rent controlled tenant living in a building built in 1904 in Manhattan.
: : : : : My LL imposes a $50 fee for rent payments given after the 7th of the month. Is this amount legal?

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