In Washington State, can you include late fees on a three-day notice to pay rent of vacate for commercial property?

Asked over 2 years ago - Seattle, WA

Tenant is late on rent. It's a commercial property. I know that I have to give five days notice pursuant to the lease. I've seen some posts on here from attorneys that say that you should not include late fees on residential notices to pay rent or vacate. The lease states that the late fees are considered additional rent. Can late fees that are called additional rent be included on a notice to pay rent or vacate on a commercial property lease?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell

    Contributor Level 20

    2

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    Answered . There are statutes that control evictions, whether commercial or residential, but there is no analogue to the RLTA. It depends on what your contract says. It would be irresponsible to try to interpret a lease without reviewing it.

    You can recover your attorney fees and costs of suit from your tenant. It would be vastly cheaper to lawyer up now , have this done professionally and rest assured it is done correctly, rather than asking random questions. I am sure you are good at what you do, but unless you regularly practice landlord-tenant law in your jurisdiction, you are very likely to miss something.

    Also, if a company owns the real property, you cannot represent the company in court without a law license. Signing a complaint containing an allegation that you are the owner when a corporation, even if you are the sole owner of the corp., would be a basis to get yourself sanctioned.

    Seriously, it's time to lawyer up. Elizabeth Powell

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  2. Robert Daniel Kelly

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Commercial property leases are contracts. The written terms of the contract can be binding. Washington law regarding landlord and tenant can be seen at RCW 59 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=59).
    [Residential leases are, of course, different from commercial leases.)

    [In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does... more

Related Topics

Property rental agreement

A rental agreement is a contract outlining terms of tenancy for a certain period of time. Short-term rental agreements may renew automatically until cancelled.

Notice to vacate property

A notice to vacate is a written notice from a landlord telling a tenant to move by a certain date. Often you'll have 30 days to leave, but state laws vary.

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