Is your landlord charging you for random things that you never heard about? It might help you to know there are some regulations on fees and tenants. We’ve got some of them ready for you here for #TenantTipTeusday.
What can you be charged for?
A landlord can only charge a fee for the following:
- A late rent payment
- A dishonored (bounced) check
- Removal or tampering with a smoke alarm/ smoke detector/ carbon monoxide detector
- Violation of a written pet agreement or rule related to pets
- Abandonment of a dwelling during a fixed term lease
- Second non-compliance with written rules, policies, or the rental agreement. Fees can be charged for things like failure to clean up garbage, parking violations, or smoking in a designated non-smoking area. However, your landlord must give you a written warning before charging you a noncompliance fee
To legally charge you a fee, your landlord must have stated the amount of the fee in your written rental agreement. If you refuse to pay a fee, your landlord can terminate your tenancy.
Do I get a receipt?
Yes. Landlords must provide a receipt to you for all fees assessed and paid. All fees must be disclosed in writing before you enter into the rental agreement. No new fees are allowed if you’re on a fixed-term lease.
Is there a time limit to charge a fee?
Yes. If it is a non-compliance fee, the landlord must assess the fee within 30 days. Your landlord cannot later hold their decision to not charge you or not take action against you. “Not charging you a fee that one time,” does not count as a reason, for example, to not offer your deposit back.
So what about other fees?
Cleaning fees, administrative fees, move-in fees, move-out fees, and pet fees are NOT allowed. The landlord can request a pet deposit, charge a non-compliance fee for smoking in a non-smoking area, or other reasons in the permitted list above. Failing to clean prior to move-out and lease-breaking fees are also legal. Learn more about fees today.