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Re: Tenant refuses to pay late fee - Landlord Forum thread 359080

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Re: Tenant refuses to pay late fee by Garry on February 20, 2019 @05:14

To my knowledge, there are only 2 ways to get late fees. One is, you request them from the tenant, and they give them to you. The other is that you have it already written into your lease from day 1, that late fees charged for any given month, will automatically come out of the following month's rent FIRST, before that rent is paid.

So lets say the rent is $800, they paid rent late in Feb, and you charged them $60, which they did not pay. You could deduct the $60 from March's rent (of $800) when they pay it, leaving them owing you $60 rent for March. You could then give them a 3 day notice to pay the $60, or quit. Then you must be willing to go thru the eviction process, if they don't pay you the $60. You have to do it this way, because in Iowa, the courts will not let you evict someone for not paying late fees, only for not paying rent (no matter what amount it is that they did not pay).
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Re: Tenant refuses to pay late fee by Ellie on February 20, 2019 @11:14 [ Reply ]
Thank you
I will apply the March rent to the 60 late fee. I am in Iowa , I was confused if I can do an eviction for a $60 partial March rent. I though if I accept any partial amount court will dismiss the case.
    Re: Tenant refuses to pay late fee by Garry on February 20, 2019 @11:37 [ Reply ]
    If you are going to try to take a late fee for Feb rent, out of March's rent, you need to inform the T ASAP, in WRITING, by certified and regular mails, and hand-delivering a copy, that you are going to do that.

    When rent is due, and a LL accepts a partial rent amount, they can give a 3 day notice for the remaining rent amount. THEN, if the LL accepts another partial rent amount, they must give out another 3 day notice for that smaller remaining amount. The best way to handle this, is never accept any amount except the amount you had written down on your 3 day notice. And then you must be fully prepared, and willing to go the full eviction route in court.
Re: Tenant refuses to pay late fee by Tom on February 20, 2019 @13:53 [ Reply ]
I'm pretty sure Garry is wrong about this. I don't specifically know Iowa laws but consider this: If you can't evict for not paying late fees, why would you be allowed to convert rent money into late fee money and then evict for being short on rent money?

In my jurisdiction, the LL can't use rent to cover fees. So if they owe a $60 fee for February, you could give them notice that they owe $800 rent + $60 fee, not $860 rent. And if they paid $800, you can't penalize them for nonpayment - no additional late fee and no cause for eviction.

Check your laws. You too Garry.
    Re: Tenant refuses to pay late fee by Garry on February 20, 2019 @14:54 [ Reply ]
    Tom, unless you are a LL in Iowa, and have done several evictions in the past 5 years, PLEASE do not try to second guess our eviction laws, or me. I belong to a local LL group which teaches about all things Landlording. We have a judge and an attorney come to speak to our group once a year, every year----been doing that for over 20 years now. We ask a TON of questions about our LL/T laws, and our eviction laws. In fact, our local judges will even send a LL that loses their case in court, TO OUR GROUP, because we know the laws, and how to do things CORRECTLY. Our judges WILL NOT ALLOW A LL TO EVICT anybody, IF the late fees are included with the rent on the FE+D papers. A T may admit to the judge that they owe both the rent and late fees, but if a LL includes the late fees, the FE+D will be dismissed , and the LL will need to refile all over again, minus the late fee amount.

    You are right, Tom, that we should be able to include late fees with the unpaid rent, but the Iowa laws say we can't, so we just learn the laws, follow them, and then teach them to our LL group members. That's why how to handle late fees, should be in the lease from day 1. If they're not, a LL must notify a T in writing, by cert and reg mail, of the way the late fees will be handled in the future.
      Re: Tenant refuses to pay late fee by Tom on February 20, 2019 @15:08 [ Reply ]
      No need to yell. I didn't second guess the laws. I said to check them. As for you, yes, I second guess everything you say. I've been on this forum for years and find that you're in error quite a lot, and often state your opinions as if they are fact or law, misleading the innocent person you're responding to.

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