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Is there a law protecting SSDI recipients from rent late fees if SSDI payment isn't received by the gov until after due date?

Herriman, UT |

I spoke to the Social Security Administration to see if I could change the date I receive benefits to the 5th of the month or before. They said they couldn't but to check with a lawyer to see if there is a law protecting tenants from late fees based on this situation.

Currently I get paid by or before the 2nd Wed of every month.

I also spoke to the apartment manager and they said they can't change anything because their computers are set to charge the fees when late. It costs $50 for first day and $5 per day after until paid. I have had to pay about $80 in late fee totals and that is a lot for someone living on SSDI, I could pay 2-3 other bills with that. It's mainly hard because I have no other way around it.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Social Security Disability is not an area I am particularly familiar with. As to rent and late fees, there is no Utah law which would prohibit late fees of this sort. Quite simply, if you agree on a due date and do not pay on time, Utah law permits late fees and the landlord is entitled to demand them.

You have various options which do not really involve the application of the law. I understand that your finances are very tight. Do not misunderstand or feel that I do not sympathize--I am just trying to suggest possible ways of dealing with the situation.

1. You could rearrange your finances so that you have enough money available when the rent is due. If you are a member of any local religion which engages in charitable activities, they might pay your rent for one month to permit you to achieve this goal. Perhaps a family member would be willing to make a gift to you to help you in this regard.
2. If your lease is nearly over and you are willing to move, you could consider seeking another place to rent which will permit you to pay rent on a more convenient date.
3. I suspect that in reality the apartment manager probably could modify your rent due date if he wanted--perhaps you could offer to pay another ten days rent in advance in exchange for having the due date modified.

Providing this answer does not form an attorney-client relationship. Most legal questions are exceedingly fact-sensitive and therefore this answer is a best-guess based on the information you provide. You should consult an attorney licensed in your state to further discuss your matter.

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Posted

Thank you for advice. Most of which I have tried. The landlord can waive some fees she said after I explained the situation. Unfortunately my family members don't have the money to give as for the Church it is hard to ask because I know that giving is down due to many out of jobs includung myself. Being disabled in this current economy has been an ironic blessing. Obviously most people without jobs dont have the option I currently do. I am still trying to find a job somewhere that will help compensate. In God's timing I will find one. Again thank you for advice

Posted

Along with what Mr. Koyle stated, you may also find that if you contact the owner of the property, that he or she may be willing to adjust the payment dates so that no late fees are incurred. I represent various landlords that are happy to make adjustments for good tenants. It has been my experience that property owners (not necessarily the manager) want the income stream and in this economy good tenants are hard to come by. The owner probably doesn't want you to leave. They would then have to spend the time and money to fix up the property and try to find a new tenant.

** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Utah. My practice includes the areas of landlord/tenant litigation. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. My responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Many times, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change my answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

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My Landlord was not willing to work with me. I tried to find some association to assist me with helping me pay the rent for 1 month so I could get caught up, I was paying every month with late charges and just last month they sent me an UD after I gave them rent w/late charges and advised them that my check would be there in 2 days.. They advised me that they could rescend if I paid the$650.00 legal fees. Well anyone on social security knows thats hardly possible. I just feel like no-one cares in the world any more and it is so hard. Especially if you have worked all of your life and now due to your health you are treated like a nobody.

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