Profile picture for jjherrin87

Late fees with new property management

When I originally rented my apartment, I rented it through a local property management company. Earlier this year, in the middle of my lease, the person who owns the land switched to a different property management company. The new property management company's office is an hour drive away. The company says they have several options for paying rent but every time I call whoever answers the phone tells me they don't know how to set those options up. So I have to send my rent in as a money order every month. They say that the postmark doesn't matter and they count the date that it's received in their office. I thought I sent it off early enough and it was postmarked before rent was due but they say they received it a couple of days late and I owe them late fees. Am I within my rights to refuse to pay the late fees? The thing that irritates me is they have sent me papers that say they have payment options other than mailing a money order but nobody can tell me how to set those options up! And I'm certainly not going to drive an hour to drop off my rent every month. Oh also, I forgot to mention, the reason I believe the rent arrived late was because we've had ridiculous ice storms here the past few weeks. I don't know if that matters or not.
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December 12 2013 - US
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Answers (1)

Profile picture for wetdawgs
Have you pulled out your state's landlord/tenant guide and read it carefully?

In most states, rent is due the date it is due as described in the lease so in most states "postmark date doesn't count" would be the norm.     I'm a landlord, and we charge late fees if rent is more than the number of days late specified in the lease (we've got bills to pay also).  Some landlords charge late fees if it arrives one day late.   What is in your lease?

Do you have a record of getting the rent to the new property management company on time?   If so, you may be able to use this to show that the weather incident was a substantial contributing factor.   A nice person at the property management company may give you a pass, but often the person answering the phone in a large property management company does not have that option.

Send them a copy of their paper saying that there are other payment options with a request that they send you more information.   Send it with a return receipt.   

Good luck.





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December 12 2013
 
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