Laws: Maximum Late Fees by State (2024)

Navigating through the multitude of rental laws can be a daunting task for landlords and tenants alike, particularly when it comes to understanding the specifics of late fees. Late fees are penalties charged when rent is not paid on time, and these fees are subject to both state legislation and individual lease agreements.

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Alabama

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No Statute

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Alaska

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No Statute

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Arizona

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not to exceed $5 per day from the due date
  • Laws: ARS 33–1414

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Arkansas

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No Statute

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California

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Must be a “good faith estimate of the damages likely to be suffered by the landlord in the case of a late payment.” Also, the late fee must be written in the lease.
  • Laws: Orozco v. Casimiro, 121 Cal. App.4th Supp. 7 (2004), CIV Code 1962

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Colorado

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): $50.00 or 5% of past due rent
  • Laws: C.R.S. § 38–12–105

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Connecticut

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): The lesser of $5 per day, up to a maximum of $50, or 5% of the delinquent rent payment.
  • Laws: CT Statute Section 41a-15a

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Delaware

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): 5% of the monthly rent amount
  • Laws: Title 25, § 5501(d)

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Florida

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): $20 or 20% of the rent, whichever is greater
  • Laws: FL statute Title VI, Chapter 83.808

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Georgia

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): $20 per month for each month there is a late payment of rent or 20% of the monthly rent, whichever is greater.
  • Laws: Ga. Code § 10-44217

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Hawaii

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): 8% of the monthly rent amount
  • Laws: § 521–21(f)

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Idaho

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Illinois

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): State of Illinois: $20 or 20% of rent, whichever is higher; Chicago only – $10.00 per month for the first $500.00 in monthly rent plus five percent per month for any amount in excess of $500.00 in monthly rent for the late payment of rent.
  • 770 ILCS 95/7.10
  • Laws: Municipal Code Sect. 5–12–140(h)

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Indiana

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Iowa

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): If the rent does not exceed $700/month, the late fee cannot exceed more than $12/day per day or $60/month. If the rent is greater than $700/month, the late fee cannot exceed more than $20/day or $100/month.
  • Laws: 562A.9(4)

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Kansas

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Kentucky

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Louisiana

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Maine

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): 4% of the monthly rent amount
  • Laws: Chapter 710, §6028(2)

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Maryland

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): 5% of the monthly rent amount
  • Laws: Md. Code, Real. Prop. § 8–208(d)(3)

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Massachusetts

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Michigan

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Minnesota

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): 8% of the monthly rent amount
  • Laws: 504B.177(a)

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Mississippi

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Limit of 10%
  • Laws: Rule 5-3-6-6.8(2)

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Missouri

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Reasonable late fee which has been defined as $20 or 20%, whichever is greater
  • Laws: Title XXVI, 415.417

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Montana

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Nebraska

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Nevada

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): 5% of the monthly rent amount
  • Laws: NRS 118A.210(4)(a)

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New Hampshire

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): No defined
  • Laws: No statute

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New Jersey

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Outside Jersey City – Not defined; Jersey City only – $35
  • Laws: Ord. 20–036
  • NJSA 2A-42-6.1 to 6.3

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New Mexico

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): 10% of the monthly rent amount
  • Laws: § 47–8–15(B)

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New York

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): $50 or 5% of the monthly rent amount, whichever is less
  • Laws: Housing Stability and Tenant Protection act of 2019

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North Carolina

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): $15 or 5% of the monthly rent amount, whichever is greater.
  • Laws: § 42–46(a)(1)

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North Dakota

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Ohio

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Oklahoma

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Oregon

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): 5% of the monthly rent amount, charged once for each succeeding 5-day period
  • Laws: ORS 90.260(2)(c)

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Pennsylvania

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Rhode Island

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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South Carolina

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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South Dakota

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Tennessee

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): 10% of the monthly rent amount
  • Laws: § 66–28–201(d)

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Texas

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): 12% of the monthly rent amount if located in a building with 4 units or under or 10% of the monthly rent amount if located in a building with more than 4 units
  • Laws: Sec. 92.019(1)

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Utah

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Vermont

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Late fees are generally not allowed. You may charge a reasonable late fee that is tied to an actual expense and this language must be in the lease agreement.
  • Laws: Vermont Residential Rental Agreements Act (RRAA)

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Virginia

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): the lesser of 10% of the monthly rent amount or 10% of the remaining balance due.
  • Laws: § 55.1–1204(E)

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Washington

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): The greater of $20.00 or 20% of the rent due.
  • Laws: RCW 19.150.150

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West Virginia

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Wisconsin

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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Wyoming

  • Late Rent Fees (Maximum Allowed): Not defined
  • Laws: No statute

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How much can you charge for a rental late fee?

The amount you can charge for a rental late fee varies by state and local laws, as well as what is outlined in the lease agreement. Some states cap the late fee at a certain percentage of the rent amount or set a maximum dollar amount. Others do not specify a limit, leaving it to the discretion of the landlord and tenant to agree upon a reasonable fee. It’s essential for landlords to ensure their late fees are compliant with state regulations and clearly defined in the lease agreement to avoid any legal complications.

What is a typical rental late fee?

A typical rental late fee is often a set dollar amount or a percentage of the monthly rent that is charged when rent is not paid by the specified due date in the lease. Commonly, late fees range from $25 to $50 or 5% to 10% of the rent for each occurrence. However, the “typical” late fee can be influenced by the rental market, the property’s location, and legal limits set by state law.

Are late fees tax deductible?

For landlords, late fees collected from tenants are generally considered taxable income and must be reported on their tax returns. Therefore, late fees are not tax-deductible for landlords; they are part of the gross rental income. For tenants, late fees are not tax-deductible as personal expenses. However, if a tenant is renting the property for business purposes, the late fee may be considered a deductible business expense. It is always recommended to consult with a tax professional for advice on specific tax situations and to ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations.

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