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Violation Fee by Ann on August 11, 2018 @11:06

I use LPA Lease that has an Violation fee.

There has been many violations: my Tenant did not winterize the house, disposal animal waste properly, pet odor, smoke & CO alarm missing battery, etc.

Finally I sent Strong Violation notice for Violation fee $500 per Violation.

My question is -
The cost of fixing "smoke & CO alarm missing battery" is low, but the behavior (safety codes) has happened repeatedly for months. I do not want to wait until someone dies due to Alarms are off and/or further damage and large cost. I would use Violation fee to proactively prevent further possible damage, and use Lease to keep the house safe and clean.

Can I demand to charge Violation fee?
[ Reply ] [ Return to forum ]

Re: Violation Fee by Ann on August 11, 2018 @11:09 [ Reply ]
just fixed a typo - disposal animal waste improperly
Re: Violation Fee by Ann on August 11, 2018 @11:12 [ Reply ]
It means Tenant will have 5 days to cure the problem; otherwise landlord charges Tenant $500, plus the cost to fix the violation / issue.
Re: Violation Fee by Garry on August 11, 2018 @12:12 [ Reply ]
Ann, you don't seem to "get it". No matter what is in your lease, a T is NOT going to pay you $500 (or even $50). If you don't like what your Ts are doing, give them proper, legal notice to move, get them out, and get new Ts. I do not know what "winterize the house" means, but that should fall on the LL to "protect" YOUR property. Yes, the disposal of pet waste and odor, and replacing smoke alarms and batteries are the responsibilities of the T. But HOW are you going to ENFORCE them. Either you have to go to court, or you will need to go to the property every month yourself, to clean up after the pets, and replace smoke detectors and batteries. If you try to "enforce" your lease violations, the T may just stop paying rent, and you will have to evict them, thru the court system----which take time and money. AGAIN-------the BEST thing to do in your case, is to give them notice of non-renewal of the lease. Once out, fix things back up again, charge their deposit for actual damages, and get new Ts again. And take out the $500 fee for a lease violation. I'm surprised a T would ever sign a lease with such a clause in it. Read up on your state's LL/T laws, and see what they say about lease violations.
Re: Violation Fee by Ann on August 11, 2018 @12:51 [ Reply ]
based on the reply, I guess Violation fee could not be collected even Lease has it.

I realize the following way in the hard and slow way. But, I wish this way could work out: I should have leveraged both Violation Notice and Professionals to enforce Lease, so it is non-legal and no-extra-inspection and fixes the issues at Tenant's cost.

The normal items for Winterize house are to disconnect garden hose from the garden faucet, use faucet cover to cover outdoor faucet, store lawn sprinkler inside, etc. Garden faucets were replaced with new ones in the second month after Tenant moves in. But, one of them has a minor leakage.

I would have subscribed the professional services of yard and animal waste disposal to remove and disposal them properly, at Tenant's cost mentioning it in Violation notice.

Re: Violation Fee by AnonymousFL on August 13, 2018 @00:07 [ Reply ]
Hi Ann,

What state are you asking about?

Please take Gary's answer as one opinion. Sometimes his relies can sound like an 'official answer'. What doesn't work for him may or may not be helpful to you. You really would be best served contacting a landlord/tenant lawyer in your area for a definative ansswer.

We have home rentals in Wisconsin and we use $25.00 fee charges for minor infractions such as unmowed grass, unshoveled snow, unkept yards, illegal vehicles, etc. In general, it works pretty well. For those that ignore the fees or don't take care of the infractions, we either move on to the 5-day notice to remedy or vacate or we bring up the issue at renewal time (or we non-renew)...and sometimes you do have to live with the problem. Keep in mind that the infractions I mentioned relate to curb appeal, so we do have some leverage in that we can offer proof to the judge that the violation has a tangable affect. We also have each of our fees listed clearly in our lease.

For larger violations, we don't mess with fees. The 5-day notice to remedy or vacate really is your go-to strategy. If it is that serious, you would probably be better off without that tenant.

Also, your ability to keep 'penalty fees' when you go to court is really dependant on how the judge interprets the law. Your repuation with the court can also help some. I can say with certainly that our good reputation with the judges has helped us a fair bit. We are respectful; we come prepared; and we are willing to negotiate to come to an agreement. We don't consider fees anything but an incentive for the tenants to honor their lease and we are willing to give up some or all if it leads to a resolution. There have been plenty of times when judges ahve allowed us to keep our 'penalty' fees.

However, your $500.00 penalty really is a pretty unreasonable amount. Can you honestly say that $500.00 is a proper amount for not having a battery? My suggestion to you is to list service charges in your lease for winterizing the house and replacing detector batteries if the tenant fails to do so. Set the charge on the high side, but still be reasonable. If the tenant does not take care of it by a reasonable date you set, send a notice for a service call and send your own guy out to take care of it.

On the other hand, if you notify a tenant to take care of a violation or be charged any fines given to you by the city/township/etc. That is entirely different. In most cases, you can assess a tenant a charge you receive if the tenant does not take care of their responsibility. The tenant should have a reasonable amount of time to remedy the issue...and that should be spelled out in your lease as well. much 'stuff''s no wonder some rental leases are 20 pages long... :)

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