Late Fees

Can my landlord charge me late fees if I do not pay my

rent on time?
This depends. Your landlord can ask you to pay late fees only if you have agreed to pay them

and he or she does not ask you to pay too much.

 Section 8 tenants cannot be evicted nor pursued

Exceptionof late fees under for collection summary proceedings.

How could I have agreed to pay late fees? 

You may have agreed to pay late fees in one of several ways:

1. Your written lease or a written rental agreement may allow the landlord to charge late fees. Look carefully at the agreement you signed.

2. Even if you don’t have a lease (or your lease doesn’t say anything about late fees), if your landlord has charged you late fees before and you have paid them, you may have agreed to pay late fees.

3. If your landlord told you before you moved in that he or she would charge late fees, you may have agreed to pay late fees. If your landlord has never mentioned late fees before and you have never paid them, you probably have not agreed to pay late fees.

If I have agree to pay late fees, can my landlord charge me any amount they want?

No. Your landlord can only charge the amount you have agreed to pay. Even if you have agreed to pay late fees, your landlord can only charge you an amount if it is reasonable.

What is a reasonable amount to charge as a late fee?

A judge can decide whether the amount of a late fee is unreasonable.

Can my landlord evict me if I do not pay the late fees?

*Your landlord can evict you for nonpayment of rent for not paying late fees only if

  1. You have agreed to pay late fees; AND

  2. The amount of the late fee is reasonable; AND

  3. You have a lease or written agreement that says late fees could be charged as “additional rent” AND

  4. Your landlord takes you to court.

If the above situation applies to me, can I pay the late fees in court and stop the eviction?

Yes. If the court decides that your landlord can evict you for nonpayment of rent for not paying late fees, you may stop the eviction by paying the money you owe to your landlord on the day you go to court. You may also have to pay court costs.

Are there other ways my landlord may use to evict me if I do not pay the late fees?

Yes. If you have a lease, read it carefully to see what your landlord may do if you refuse to pay late fees. If you do not have a lease, your landlord may give you a one month notice to vacate for refusing to pay late 


Important Note:

If your tenancy is governed by rent stabilization or the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA) (In some Nassau areas only), you may not be responsible for late fees even if they are stated in your lease. It depends on the lease language and what was contained in the lease for your apartment when the community in which you live adopted the ETPA. Also, tenants in these categories of

housing cannot be evicted for failing to pay late fees. 




The information contained in this material is not legal advice. Legal advice depends upon the specific facts of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state to state, so that some information from our website may not be correct for your jurisdiction. Finally, this information is not guaranteed to be up to date. The material contained on this site cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your state.

We're committed to helping people in need vindicate their rights under the law.

Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee, serving Long Island since 1966.
This website is designed for general information only.

The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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