“I almost always pay my rent on time, and I have a good relationship with our park’s management. Recently though, I made a payment one day late. I saw that they charged me a pretty significant late fee, and I can’t help but think that it was a little harsh for only being a day late. Is that really fair?”
– Christina Z., 52, Santa Barbara, CA
We know that incurring late fees can be frustrating. Everyone makes mistakes, but sometimes the penalties can seem disproportionate. Late fees also fall outside of Mobilehome Residency Law, so they’re usually disputed on a case-by-case basis. Historically, we can tell you that most courts have ruled in favor of residential leases with preset late penalties, especially in instances where its shown that the fees correlate with actual damages a landlord could face for late payments.
So, human error notwithstanding, if your lease agreement clearly specifies the penalties for late payments, then you will probably have to accept them, even if you’re just one day late.
- If your signed lease or rental agreement stipulates a late fee, then the you must pay it, no matter how late.