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Can I be evicted for late fees if my landlord accepts the rent?

Portland, OR |

I was late for 3 months on my rent,(rent was paid each month, but incurred a late fee) even though I payed the rent I now have 300 in late fees-this last month I asked to have my check held for 2 days, they put it in too soon and it bounced-now I have an eviction notice and $25 fee and my bank fee- I have an eviction notice for rent and ALL fees by 9/30/13-even though I had a agreement with the manager to make payments on the late fees-I said just put the check back through but they won't-and want the rent (which I have) and ALL late fees (which I do not) or I will be evicted-can I be evicted for just the late fees? (Oregon)

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    Late fees should not be included in a otherwise proper 72 or 144 hour notice of nonpayment of rent.

    There technically is a way to be evicted for the non-payment of late fees, but it is exceedingly rare and is definitely NOT the same procedure as a regular non-payment FED.

    Naturally, you should timely pay your rent (and keep proof) before the notice expires (there should be a time and date.) If after receiving your rental payment, your landlord still proceeds to file an eviction action against you in court, feel free to phone my office as I'd be glad to discuss the potential to set up a free consultation.

    If you found this answer helpful, please click the "Mark as good answer" button, below. If you'd like to contact me regarding potentially representing you with regards to your legal matter, please click on my profile and give my office a call. My answer to your Avvo question, however, is informational only and is not intended to be legal advice, nor does it form the basis for any attorney-client relationship whatsoever, which can only be formed upon signing an Engagement Agreement and depositing a Retainer Fee into client trust. Further, I am only licensed in Oregon and laws vary from state to state. If you have an Oregon-related issue, feel free to contact me for a consultation. If you are outside of Oregon, please consult an attorney in your area for legal advice.


  2. In most states, if a landlord accepts partial payment, then the eviction notice is no longer valid for going forward with the eviction hearing. A new notice must typically be issued before the landlord can go forward. Hopefully an Oregon attorney can confirm.

    Actively practicing law in Texas. Inactive licenses in Arizona and Georgia. All answers are general in nature and no attorney/client relationship exists in this forum.


  3. Landlords cannot give you a 72-hour notice for non-payment of late fees. ORS 90.302 (5). If you don't have a 72-hour notice yet, you should pay the past due rent immediately. Given the bounced checks, there's no reason your landlord need to accept further checks--get a money order.

    As for the fees, a landlord can give you a 30-day notice to terminate your lease for nonpayment of fees. Generally though, if you're current on rent and making payments on other debts, most landlords would probably prefer the money than to take you through the eviction process. Your landlord may vary--if you get a notice terminating your lease for cause, you need to take it seriously and perhaps discuss it with an attorney.

    Licensed in Oregon. Advice provided is general legal information relevant to the facts provided. It is not intended as legal advice applicable to your specific situation. No attorney/client relationship is created unless and until we have met and entered into a written representation agreement. Contact me at 541-250-0542 to discuss your matter further. www.MaugerLaw.com


  4. If the landlord actually files an eviction action in court against you based upon a 72 Hour Notice which included a demand for payment of late fees within that 72 hours, you should prevail, not be evicted then and have your court costs and attorneys fees paid by the landlord - regardless of whether you pay just the rent part within the 72 hours or not. He can still come after you but will need to start over with another 72 hour notice, this time properly drafted if he wants to prevail. He can give you a 30 day notice to pay the late fees or proceed to evict you for non-payment after that. If an action is actually filed against you in court based on this 72 hour notice, several of us Portland attorneys regularly represent tenants and would be happy to help - give one of us a call! This is the sort of case that we would likely take on a contingency, meaning you would not have to pay me attorneys fees because I would recover them directly from the landlord. If anything went wrong, you still would not be on the hook for my fees. Good luck.

    Nothing contained herein should be considered as legal advice for any specific situation and nothing herein is intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. Every case is very "fact-specific" and persons wishing legal advice on a specific matter should contact me or another attorney for an appointment to review their particular circumstances and to create a lawyer-client relationship. Gregory L. Abbott, Attorney at Law, 6635 North Baltimore, Suite 254, Portland, Oregon 97203. Tel: 503-283-4568; Fax: 503-283-4586; Email: gregabbott@comcast.net. Specializing in Consumer and Small Business Law.


  5. I think the short answer is no. Once a landlord accepts partial payment of rent, they effectively waive their right to eviction for that rental period (most likely a month). If your landlord accepts a clear payment of rent, they may not use that rent to cover late fees and then claim you have not paid rent for the current month. I recommend you at least consult with a local attorney as every case is fact specific.

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