What to do about a late fee for a month-to-month rental?

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What to do about a late fee for a month-to-month rental?

We signed a lease that expired about 7 months ago. We have been living in the unit month-to-month. This month will have been the first time we are late, due to my husband being laid-off. Our landlord says we owe an insane daily late fee because of the terms of our lease, again it expired in May. Does the one line in our lease, “Thereafter, this agreement shall become a month-to-month agreement only if landlord accepts rent from tenants,” hold us to the late fee that was in our now, expired lease? We have not talked with her about renewing our lease.

Asked on December 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Idaho

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally, when a tenant hold overs, or remains past the expiration of his/her lease, the tenancy becomes a month-to-month tenancy under the same terms as the prior written lease, until and unless the landlord provides notice (a month) of changing those terms. Therefore, if there was a late fee in the written lease you held over from, you can most likely be held accountable for that fee.


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