Do you read your lease?
You know that long document you received when moving into your home?
The lease agreement? Ya, that one, did you take the time to read the entire document?
When I sign leases with our residents, it is very rare that I see people read the whole document. I make sure I touch on the most important items in the lease, but everything in the lease is important!
This document is the protection and road map for you when something goes wrong in your home or with your landlord, when maintenance issues arise, when rent is due, or when you to move!
There are legal steps for each one of these items that are lined out in your lease.
We are going to look at a couple of Living Doors lease clauses that have to do with rent payment.
The due date for the rent owing under this Agreement is the 1st of every calendar month. The late day is four days later. Tenants’ rent is due on the first; rent must be paid or post marked on or before the fourth to be “on time”.
The above clause explains that our rent is due on the 1st of the month. We do allow for a grace period until the 4th of the month.
I remind a lot of residents about this grace period. It gets confused, and a lot of people think it is the 5th of the month. Well the 5th of the month is too late and that is when we would be adding a late fee on to your account.
LATE FEES-Management expects Tenants to pay the rent promptly. Should exceptional circumstances prevent prompt payment, Tenants agree to pay a late fee equal to 10% of delinquent rent. Management has the right to waive this fee ONLY if other arrangements are made (with Management) before the 1st of the month rent will be late.
Our late fees clause states that you will be charged 10% of your rent amount if your rent is late.
Now I want you too look at the last sentence of this clause. I can't stress enough CONTACT YOUR LANDLORD/MANAGER before the 1st of the month if you know you are going to be late!!!
At Living Doors, we appreciate this communication and most likely, we are going to waive that late fee for you. Honesty and an open line of communication builds a great relationship and we greatly appreciate it!
ALLOCATION OF MONEY RECEIVED- Any money received from the Tenant shall first be applied to: 1) any past due charges or fees, 2) any damages that have been repaired but still owed by Tenant, 3) any unpaid utility charges that the Tenant is responsible for. Any remaining money received will then be applied toward rent due.
This is another important clause that a lot of leases have. This clause says that if you have charges (other than rent) on your account, any rent payment you make (or any other payment) will cover those other charges, before it covers rent. This could leave you with unpaid rent after a payment you thought covered your rent and your landlord could proceed with a 7 Day - Failure to pay rent notice.
If you are reading this, I urge you to go find your lease agreement and dig into what it says. I promise it will make you more prepared when life situations happen.
Don't be afraid to contact your landlord/manager for clarification, as well. It will make both of our lives a little less stressful.
DISCLAIMER: Lease agreements are legal contract. I am not a lawyer. Please contact a lawyer if you have questions about your lease agreement.