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Re: Late Charge and Bounced Check Charge

Posted by Mark Smith on July 29, 2000 at 18:20:22:

In Reply to: Late Charge and Bounced Check Charge posted by Christine Stiffler on July 29, 2000 at 16:47:31:

Does your lease provide for a late charge? If so, is it fixed at $25? How much is your rent?

The late charge could be valid if it's specified in your lease and if it's reasonable -- generally less than 5% of your monthly rent. The landlord of a rent stabilized apartment can get only a money judgement -- not a possessory judgment -- for a late charge. But the issue of how payments are applied to old rent, late charges, new rent, etc. could lead you to housing court and possible landlord attorneys' fees.

Does your lease provide for a bounced check charge? Even if it doesn't, the landlord could still sue you in civil court or in commercial small claims court for its out-of-pocket expenses (the fee charged by the landlord's bank) for the bounced check.

: I live in a rent stabilized apartment in Manhattan. Last month, my rent payment bounced and by the time it was re-deposited and cleared, it was late. Now my landlord is charging me $25.00 for the bounced check and $25.00 because the payment was late. Does he have the right to do that? Are there any guidelines as to the maximum he can charge me for late payments and bounced checks? Fifty dollars just seems like a big fee for one mistake. Chris

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