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Late Fees and Security Deposit

Posted by cate on May 17, 2001 at 13:54:56:

Over a 15 year tenancy, I paid 5% late fees for about 5 years worth.

Because I felt guilty for being a few days behind I paid the fees. The landlord also would not accept the next month's rent without the previous late fee. Also, while I was back in school, I received a few loud knocks and eviction notices for late payments and that scared me.

Then I paid rent on time for the past five years. I just subletted for 18 months, the only time I ever did, as I was deciding to leave town. I finally moved out last month and the landlord sent me my security deposit subtracting $455 for back, retroactive late fees he didn't tell me about until this January when lease renewal came up. No notices, nothing. I didn't pay it then as I told him I wasn't renewing. One was for February 8, 2000, another the 10th of the month.

Previously I had until the end of the second week before he imposed what I now see is an illegal overcharge.

Please advise me on whether I should pursue any of this. It probably totals $4-5000 in late fees. But I wouldn't have done anything if I had received the full security deposit as it was promised to me.

Thanks, Cate

(written lease, 100 year old, 10 unit rent stabilized)

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