My apartments were sold and now I have to pay my rent on line and I will be charged $2.95 per month to do so. Is this legal?
3 attorney answers
The lease controls the payment method and the ability to change it. While you may be able to fight with the landlord over this issue, it may not be productive for you to do so, as you could invite a retaliatory eviction you might not be able to defend. Its is doubtful that $2.95 will dramatically change your life, fixed income or not, so if the LL insists on that payment vehicle, your best bet is to go to Walmart and get a pre-paid credit card SOLELY for the purpose of making the rent payments. DO NOT resort to a debit card EVER.
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Your lease will explain what can be charged and how you have to pay. As Mr. Gaffney states, if there is nothing specific about how you have to pay, then you really can't be "required" to pay using an online portal and can mail your checks in as you've been doing. If they try to evict you, this should be a defense provided that you are reading your lease correctly.
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Your lease controls; so if it doesn't REQUIRE you to pay on line, you shouldn't have to; but are you sure you ant to fight over $2.95 a month for 8 months? It will cost FAR FAR more than that to fight about it. Alas, if that a battle you wish to fight, consult with and retain a good local tenants lawyer.
Hope this helps.
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