Unfortunately, we are generally unable to waive late fees. Due to fair housing requirements, potential liability, and out of a general sense of fairness, we need to treat all of our tenants the same and not give some tenants preferential treatment. It wouldn't be right to charge one tenant a late fee and waive a late fee for another tenant. Landlords also depend upon those late fees, because most of them don't own their houses free and clear. They usually have a mortgage payment to make, so when the rent is late, they pay their mortgage payment late, and their bank charges them a late fee. So they're usually using the late fee that the tenant pays to pay off their own late fee.
However, there are some very limited circumstances where our policy allows for the waiving of a late fee:
- If your rent is only late due to something caused by us, then we would agree to waive your late fee. For example, if you had an automatic payment setup in your Resident Portal for the 1st of the month, but our computer system went down and didn't process your payment on time, that would be our fault, and we would waive your late fee (provided you promptly make payment after finding out that your autopayment didn't go through).
- If you've just renewed your lease and it's the first month on the new lease, and there are new charges or higher rent, and you simply forgot to update your payment amount, we will waive the late fee if you get the extra amount you owed to us no later than the 7th of the month.
- If you're a brand new tenant and have some confusion setting up a payment on the Resident Portal and it doesn't go through, then we'll agree to waive the late fee provided that you pay no later than the 7th of the month.
- If you're a brand new tenant and you accidentally forget to include the payment of a fee such as pet admin fees or a lease admin fee, but you paid the normal rent on time, then we will agree to waive the late fee if you pay the additional amount you missed no later than the 7th of the month.
- If you have accidentally underpaid by less than $5.00, then we will agree to waive the late fee if you pay the remaining amount no later than the 7th of the month. Please note that if you do this repeatedly, your request for a late fee waiver will be denied. This should be a very rare occurrence.
- If you have experienced the death of an immediate family member in the prior thirty (30) days and have been overwhelmed with funeral arrangements and/or grief. "Immediate family member" includes only the following relatives of the people named on the lease: spouse, child, mother, father, sibling, grandparent. Documentation of the relative's death is required.
These are the only circumstances under which we will agree to waive late fees. While we sympathize with tenants who are going through financial difficulties, have had deaths or illnesses in the family, or are experiencing other hardships, we simply cannot allow these circumstances to interfere with the enforcement of the lease. Our clients, the landlords, pay us to collect the rent, and we have an obligation to them to do just that. It is sometimes a difficult position for us to be in collecting rent from someone who is going through a hardship, but we have to do our job. We hope you can understand.
If you do qualify for one of the above circumstances under which a late fee can be waived, please click here to fill out the form to request a late fee waiver. Please note that even if a late fee is waived, it won't actually be removed from your account ledger until after you've paid the rest of what you owe.