Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did

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christinagsu Posts : 50 Registered: 11/18/08
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jun 26, 2009 2:23 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

true...true....Thank you to all for your insights. And I do have ways of checking ordinances. I happen to work for the next city over and we had several of our employees go to the city in which I live when it became a city just a few short months ago.

Thanks again to everyone!!! I will definitely read my lease over the weekend (if they actually give it to me today, as I have requested it previously).


HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jun 26, 2009 2:39 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Read what your lease says about when your rent is due. If your lease says exactly what you understood about the rent due date, that it's due on the 1st and late on the 5th, then I disagree with Aunt about the late fee (BTW I work in the property management business). I think you're responsible for the overdraft fee and think the cashier's check is a good idea, but if the lease says your grace period is until the 4th and you gave them a good check on the 3rd in good faith, then you're not late.

My answer would be different if they had deposited the check on the 5th and there were no funds. But since they waited until as late as you said they did, you have a leg to stand on regarding the late fee.

They may not return the money at this point, but after you've seen your lease to confirm you've got the payment/grace period dates in writing, then write a letter to the management company stating the reasons why you think the late fee should be credited. It might work. Next time I would fight the late fee in a situation like this, but it doesn't sound like you're going to let it happen again anyway.

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His4life Posts : 117 Registered: 4/7/09
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jun 26, 2009 2:40 PM Go to message in response to: christinagsu

Christina you shouldn't have paid the late fee. Who did you give your rent check to? Did you drop it in a box? Do you have proof that you delivered it on the 3rd? The bounced check is ultimately your fault... you should have known how much would have been in your account, but the late fee would not be your fault if you delivered it within the time frame of your lease.

If you have proof that you delivered the check on time then I would try to get that money back. I have lived in apartments as well and they had a similar policy. I always made sure the rent was hand delivered to avoid issues like that. With regards to the maintenance I don't know why you wouldn't ask them to do the repairs for you and why you would pay out of pocket for things like that, it just doesn't make sense. If there is something wrong in your apartment it would be fixed for free by their maintenance personnel.


10042008Bride Posts : 82 Registered: 9/11/07
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jun 26, 2009 3:07 PM Go to message in response to: christinagsu

When you paid your rent did you ask for them to credit the late fee? I also work in property management and we will credit 1 late fee for any of our tenants who request it, regardless of the circumstances. I will tell you we send out letters like the one that you described monthly on the 15th for anyone who hasn't paid rent for that month. Essentially, they are a scare tatic- trying to get the money in.

I would ask them for a credit for the late fee since it's your first time being late. It never hurts to ask.


christinagsu Posts : 50 Registered: 11/18/08
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jun 26, 2009 5:00 PM Go to message in response to: 10042008Bride

If your property delivers those letters on the 15th, does that mean you have held rent checks until that point or you have already deposited what came in and then sent the letters to the others? In this case, do you think the notification on the 25th was unreasonable?

In regards to the other person that said who did I give it to...It was deposited in the night drop (as get this...I almost forgot to pay it and got dressed in the middle of the night and took it to the office - which is out of my complex and in a different complex, due to the layout - just so that it wouldn't be late!!!!) That's the completely ironic part...and until you asked that question I had completely forgotten that. I have never been late and I was determined to make sure I was not late.

So to you two that work at properties, should I from this point forward turn give it to someone in person just as a back up incase this is just the beginning of bad situations...or was I just asking for this one and I probably won't have another bad situation from them?


christinagsu Posts : 50 Registered: 11/18/08
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jun 26, 2009 5:54 PM Go to message in response to: christinagsu

Thank you all for your help today, however, I have now read my lease and there are soooo many things I don't get charged for and soooo many things that they allow that are not allowed in the lease....that this one...I am not going to worry with any longer.


myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jun 26, 2009 7:05 PM Go to message in response to: christinagsu

However, $71 for late fee when I paid my rent on time, they held the check so long, and I didn't even receive a letter during my grace period allotted stating that this had happened and reqeusting the payment, I do not feel I should pay.

I do understand how you feel. Our office's management often holds our rent check for a couple of weeks. It makes my husband crazy. However, I'm the one that does the bill-paying, and I use QuickBooks. When my hubby tells me, "We have X amount in the bank," I'll tell him that's impossible, because I know our total and obviously, someone has not cashed a check.

That being said, it doesn't matter what you feel you should do. The only thing that matters is what your lease says about grace periods, late fees, etc. You did pay late, because you bounced a check. That means that, by the end of the month, you hadn't paid your rent at all. They are under no obligation to cash your check immediately. You have an obligation to know what's in your account before you go out and spend the money. I do believe that they could have been nicer and not threatened legal proceedings so speedily. I had a rent check get lost in the mail once, and after three weeks I got a polite phone call asking me if I had sent the rent check, since I had never failed to pay on time. I had to put a stop on the first one and send another--the first one never did show up. Themanagement did not charge me a late fee, but they could have, since it was in my lease. But, as I said, they are under no obligation to be nice if the lease spells out the terms. I also agree with others who say that if repairs need to be done, let the management do them, on their dime. It's lovely that you do things yourself--but that does not change the terms of your lease. I'm sure that the lease does not say anything about trading your services for part of your rent.
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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jun 26, 2009 7:34 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Yeah, you should have paid attention to your balance and made sure that the check was cashed. That's your responsibility. It's pretty common for apartment rental places to hang onto a check longer than seems reasonable. I sometimes wonder whether they're trying to entrap people into exactly the same situation that you're in. That said, however, I'm absolutely obsessive about the rent check. If it hasn't cleared by the 5th, I call the landlady and ask her why she hasn't cashed it. It would be smart of you to start obsessing over you rent check, too - assuming that it's the largest bill you pay (mine is) and you want to make sure it clears before writing other checks.

If I were in your shoes, I'd probably call the office and ask whether they can waive the late fee, given the situation and the fact that it's never happened before. If they will, that's great. If not, then pay it and chalk it up to life experience. It IS the 26th, after all, and your rent was presumably due on the 1st - so if I were in your shoes, I'd totally understand if they were not willing to waive the late fee.

On another note, how on earth have you lived there for a year and you've never requested a copy of your lease? Didn't you read it before you signed it? If so, you must have SOME idea of what the policies are. I signed my lease 5 years ago and I still remember the gist of it. And for the particulars, I can look at the copy of the lease that I requested WHEN I SIGNED IT, as I wasn't willing to walk out the door without a copy of what I'd just signed. The next time you move somewhere, make it a priority to get a copy of your lease ASAP. Yes, you may have to call several times to get someone to print it for you, but it is YOUR RIGHT to have a copy of a legal contract that you've signed. Don't be a pushover. Keep bothering them until you get a copy.

And don't repair stuff on your own. First off, you pay for your apt complex to employ maintenance people - use them! Secondly, your lease might explicitly state that you are not allowed to make your own repairs. Every lease that I've signed - in several different states - says something like that. In most places, you can work out deals if you REALLY want to make the repairs yourself...but why bother? You're paying for someone to do all that for you - why not take advantage of it?

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TheNewMrsJ Posts : 754 Registered: 1/6/08
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jun 27, 2009 4:30 AM Go to message in response to: christinagsu

ugh I know how you feel - I had something similar happen my last semester of college:

My roommate and I lived in the complex for 3 years total before we moved out. Since my roommate failed at paying bills and keeping track of her own money, I was in charge of making sure they got paid on time. Our rent was due on the 1st, with a grace period til the 5th. I too would often drop it in the night deposit slot late on the 4th since I was in class all day during the day and they were only open from 9-430 and I had class across campus til 4 and didn't get back to our complex til 430.

One time though, I wrote the check, and it bounced for whatever reason (i forget why, but there should have been money in the account) so they sent me a notice 2 weeks saying basically "hey your check bounced and we need the money plus late fee in cash or money order ASAP" so I took care of it.

Then about 6 months later, I came home from class (in the fall) and there was a notice saying we owed a little over $1000 and had 3 days (although really it was 5 since the 3rd was on a Saturday and the office wasn't open on Saturday or Sunday) to get the money in cash or money order to them before they started the eviction process. I was shocked because we had lived there for 2.5 years almost at this point and the last time we had an issue with a check bouncing they sent me a notice about it - this time there was no notice, not to mention our rent was $675, not $1000+.

I checked my bank account... apparently the check would have put me at -$1.00 or something dumb like that and rather than overdraft me like they normally do, they bounced the check - wtf?! So anyway, I go to the office and talk to the lady there in charge of the bills and she shows us our rent payment history. 4 months prior, my roommate didn't have the money in her account to cover her half of rent since she threw out her back and had missed work so her last paycheck was as much as it normally was, so she went and spoke with the landlord to see if she could pay her half late, which they said was fine. So I paid my $300+change and she was supposed to pay hers. Well apparently they never got her money, so they kept rolling it out of the rent checks I had been writing since, so on top of the rent check that got bounced, we had been -$300+change for months and they NEVER told us, plus they added late fees. Even the lady was like "You've always paid in full and always on time though..." implying we were good tenants when it came to getting rent paid. My roommate swears she paid it too - she said she went to the office, handed her check to the younger guy that worked there, explained what it was for, and he told her he'd get it taken care of asap.

So yeah, I know how ya feel - we had 2 days plus the weekend to come up with $1000+ before they started to evict us.

From experience though, I'll too admit, I shoulda kept a better eye on my bank account, however I was still pissed at my bank that they bounced the check cuz it would have put me at -$1.00 (when payday was the next freakin' day!) rather than just overdraft me like they have pretty much every other time...

Honestly, I'd just bite the bullet - you're technically at fault for not watching your bank account, although they should have mentioned it to you as well that it didn't go through.

Our current apt has a bad habit of holding the checks though - again, it's due the 1st, but not late til after the 5th, but there's been times I notice it doesn't go through til the teens! Drives DH and I nuts as well.

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DoesntPlayNice Posts : 809 Registered: 12/17/08
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jun 29, 2009 9:15 AM Go to message in response to: christinagsu

I have to agree with AOTB here. First of all you need to get a check book register and starte keeping track of your funds. Do not rely on just checking your account on the internet.

I wouldn't argue with your apartment complex...take this as a lesson learned and get over it. Also i agree with paying with a cashiers check...its easier. When I lived in an apartment we had the rent automatically deducted from our bank account.

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cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Jul 6, 2009 6:27 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Also, my bank has free online banking, and I can see all my checks as they clear. I know what's cleared and what hasn't, and I pay most bills online that way. I have double proof then, or double record.

If you are thinking of moving, check your lease on that too. Some places require 60 days written notice.

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jackson132 Posts : 1,623 Registered: 9/13/12
Re: Rent - need some opinions on what my apt complex did
Posted: Sep 14, 2012 3:58 PM Go to message in response to: christinagsu

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