Is there a dollar amount limit in late fees that a landlord can charge a tenant?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2011

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Is there a dollar amount limit in late fees that a landlord can charge a tenant?

Can a tenant be charged $15/day late fee for rent? can they still be charged for the month if they moved out mid month after rent was due, and still be liable for the rent/late fees? Yes there is a contract involved, and yes it was signed by an “of age” individual.

Asked on August 4, 2011 West Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Most states have laws limiting the amount of the fee for late rent in an amount of a set amount usually 10% of the monthly rent per month and not on a set amount per day. Most states' laws consider a daily penalty of $15.00 per day in violation of public policy as an unconscionable charge which easily could exceed the monthly rent of a tenant depending upon how many days the rent goes unpaid beyond the due date.

If a tenant vacates a rented unit without giving the required notice on a month-to-month lease (example thirty days) the former tenant would very well be responsible for the daily rent of the lease where proper notice was not given. If the lease is one for a set term and the tenant vacates the unit before the term has ended (3 months left on the lease), the tenant would be responsible for the balance of time on the lease.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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