I have lived in my apartment complex for 3 years. I have always bought money orders to pay my rent. I have from the 1st of the month until the 3rd of the month to buy money orders and pay my rent without it being "late". I have never bought a money order past the 3rd of the month. The complex was bought by a company out of CA. They implemented a pay rent online on their website. Cool. I have never been able to pay online because each time i have gone in the amount i "owe" (rent) is always different than my actual rent payment. But have been told as long as my money orders are bought before the 3rd of the month and sent out to CA in the mail, i won't be considered late because i bought them on time. The online payments...They have given me different excuses like, they don't know, they are trying to fix it, etc. etc. The most recent was that i DO owe this money. Come to find out the new management company policy is that the money orders have to be stamped by the post office by the 2nd of the month and in the mail. Right now i have accrued $400 of "late" payment charges which i refuse to pay. What can i do legally? I want to move when my lease is up in 2 months.
Your lease states the grace period, not you and not verbally from the leasing office. You need to check your lease.
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It would be impossible to know without reviewing your lease, but my guess is your rent is LATE on the 3rd, much less the 2nd - and you KNOW this - as your LEASE provides that as it it is due the 1st. Not sure why you thought you could pay on the 3rd. in other words, if you pay your rent on the 3rd - you are two days LATE. You can avoid a "late" charge perhaps, but you are still IN DEFAULT.
Best bet is - don't listen to what someone "says," just review your LEASE (which controls) and then pay the rent the day BEFORE (or a few before) the LEASE says the rent is due - that's usually your best bet to avoid any late charges. Good thing you're moving ; but when you settle in the new place, apply the same protocol, always pay your rent a day or so BEFORE YOU LEASE says it's due, not a day or two after.
As for the $400 in late charges you have accrued, you have two choices; pay them the $400, or retain a good local tenants attorney and fight them in court; but there's a chance, a good chance, they will try to evict you for not paying, especially if the "late" charges are defined as RENT in your lease (very likely they are). Other than that, there's really nothing any of us can do for you on line, you need someone to review your lease and investigate the facts you have posted, and ask the LL for its side of the story.
Hope this helps.
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I agree with my colleagues, and would like to add that at this point, if you legally owe the late charges because they are provided for in your lease and in the management company's policy, the cheapest route would likely be to pay the late fees and just move out in two months. The paper agreement controls.
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YOur lease would have to be reviewed - but as a starting point noone cares when you bought a money order or mailed a check - its payment RECIEVED on time that matters. That stated 99% of all leases have rent due on the 1st and its late 1 min after - they may provide a GRACE PERIOD to not assess late fees.....but it may still be late. Youll have to hire a lawyer to review the lease to see what yours says. IN the meantime if you don't pay money that the LL claims is past due rent or over due you may find them evicting you regardless of your lease being up in a few months.
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