Posted by TenantNet on September 19, 1997 at 19:56:16:
In Reply to: Re: Late fees in rent-stabilized buildings posted by Bill Rowen on September 18, 1997 at 22:49:19:
I did some checking on this. I thought it was a matter of collectibility and
Rowen said they were impermissible.
It depends on the tenant's vacancy lease. If it's in there it's collectible
in housing court, but must be itemized as such and not part as rent. London Terrace
v. Stevens said a case must be dismissed if late fees are included in the
three-day rent demand, but this (or a major portion of this) was
overturned in Brusco v. Miller. A late charge must be reasonable and non-punitive,
and must bear a relationship with the amount of rent at issue. The right
to claim a late fee MUST be in the tenant's original lease (not a renewal).
Late fees cannot be the sole basis for the proceeding. True, the RSL prohibits
charging or collecting in excess of the rent, if itemized separately and permitted
in the lease, the current court interpretations are that late fees are
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