Money issue with landlord

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2003
Money issue with landlord
Mon, 11-16-2009 - 7:45pm

My fiance and I are renting a condo and our rent is due on the 5th of every month with a $50 late fee if it doesn't get to them by then. The owner lives a few towns over so we always mail the rent to him. We have been here 8 months now and never been late with the rent. I sent the rent out to him on Nov. 3 and he called on Thursday the 5th telling us it hadn't arrived yet. It should only take 1 day to get there so we said to wait one more day and to let us know if it didn't arrive. He didn't call Friday, Saturday or Sunday so we assumed all was well. On Monday the 9th he calls and said it hadn't arrived yet and he should charge us an extra $50 but doesn't say anything more about it. He said he would stop over to our place on Tuesday and pick up the check. 1 1/2 hours after saying he'd be there to pick it up he says he won't be able to make it and would come the following day. Neither of us were there that day so left the check under the mat for him. Finally it was picked up and it shows as being cashed. There was still no sign of the first check in my bank so I had to put a stop payment on that which cost $20.

Today in the mail we get a letter from him saying that need to add $50 to next month's rent to make up for the late rent this month. So all in all we have to spend $70 for a fiasco that is not of our making since everything was done right on our part and it got lost in the mail. $70 isn't a huge amount, but with all the other bills we have to pay it could have been used to pay the water bill instead.

Do we have a right to argue the $50 late fee when it wasn't our fault for being late? On top of that, if he was so gung ho to get it, why did he not make an effort until the 11th-6 days after it was due? We don't want to make a huge issue about it and have bad relations with him the rest of the time we are here, but are we supposed to wonder every time we send him rent whether or not it actually got to him or not?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2008
Tue, 11-17-2009 - 7:37am

That's a rotten situation. If it were me, I would just pay it, but be ready to move when the lease is up. I just wouldn't want to do business with that guy. Not because of the late fee, but because of how he handled it.

I rent, too. I personally deliver my rent check, because I am the one who would pay if it's late, not the Post Office. You probably can't get to him every month in person, but you can send it a few days earlier to allow for slow delivery, and definitely put tracking on it so you'll know if it got to him or not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
Wed, 11-18-2009 - 7:47am

I personally wouldn't argue it.