Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Missouri

rental late fees

Our Land lord charges $10 a day in late fees, which is alright with my wife and I. It's even written out in our renter's lease. But, 2 years ago, my wife was having a difficult time and was unable to pay her rent for a few months. By the time our landlord tacked on all his ''late fees'' it came to almost $9,000.00. Several thousand of which she has already paid back. The rent for our very small apartment is only $250.00 a month. Where did he get this figure from? Am I wrong to think these people abused my wife's nieve nature? I have never heard of such an extreme amount of late fees laid on any one. He was charing her up to $60.00 a day. The LL is still hounding her to this day to pay up the balance or get out! (which he only wants paid in cash, but we still have resiepts)Can someone please help us with this? Is what he is doing illegal?Thank You.

Asked on 7/27/07, 10:09 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Anthony Smith LawSmith

Re: rental late fees

Some attorneys on this system more often represent landlords and some renters. We have a common enemy, that is the slum lord. If the facts you describe are true, then your landlord is one of the worst slum lords I have ever heard of. You should pursue your options vigorously.

I do not advise that you pay any more of the $9,000. this might cause the slum lord to start the eviction process. You would then have to raise the unconscionable late charges as a defense, and perhaps a counterclaim. I suggest you find another living situation before you refuse to pay.

Good Luck

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Answered on 7/30/07, 3:39 pm

Anthony DeWitt Bartimus, Frickleton Robertson & Gorny, PC

Re: rental late fees

It is probably too late to get back what has already been paid, but a late fee amount of $60.00 per day when the rent is $250 per month is unconscionable. I would say that late fees that exceed the rental amount are likely unconscionable. You should see an attorney and get legal help right away. You may have a claim against your landlord for violation of the Merchandising Practices Act, Chap. 407, Revised Statutes.

Good Luck.

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Answered on 7/27/07, 10:27 am

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