Skip to main content

Can a landlord charge a tenant for legal fees if he only threatens to evict the tenant?

Tempe, AZ |

Is it legal for a landlord to charge a tenant late fees and legal fees (court filing and attorney) without ever hiring an attorney or filing a case in court? Would this be considered a breach in the lease or fraud? Can a landlord require a tenant to pay him in advance to hire an attorney and pay court filing fees? Is legal to serve a five day notice for nonpayment and automatically charge the tenant for legal fees the day after the notice expires. If a tenants pay his rent and all late fees on the 12th day, can the landlord send a notice to the tenant requesting an addition $160 for legal fees if a case was never filed? And if the tenant doesn't pay within a week can the landlord go ahead and file a forcible detainer or would this be considered excepting a partial payment?

Is this a violation of ARS 33-1368 (b)

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

Wow. Thats a lot of questions.

1) Is it legal for a landlord to charge a tenant late fees and legal fees (court filing and attorney) without ever hiring an attorney or filing a case in court? Not illegal to try to charge you--but if she takes action against you based on non payment of the non existant legal fees, your defense would be that the fees are bogus.
2) Would this be considered a breach in the lease or fraud? Breach, no. Fraud, maybe.
3) Can a landlord require a tenant to pay him in advance to hire an attorney and pay court filing fees? No way.
4)Is legal to serve a five day notice for nonpayment and automatically charge the tenant for legal fees the day after the notice expires. No
5) If a tenants pay his rent and all late fees on the 12th day, can the landlord send a notice to the tenant requesting an addition $160 for legal fees if a case was never filed? No.
6)And if the tenant doesn't pay within a week can the landlord go ahead and file a forcible detainer or would this be considered excepting a partial payment? You didn't say what it was you did not pay--the rent, the late fees, the after the fact attorney fees, the pre-paid attorney fees....

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, addressing your issue does not create an attorney-client relationship and I AM NOT providing you legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

Landlord-tenant topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics