Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in New Jersey

I've been late on my rent about three times in the past year since I've lived in the complex and always paid it without issue. This past time, I decided to investigate how the late fee was calculated. The leasing manager said the late fee is 10% of the past due amount. I was fine with that until I thoroughly read through my lease and found that it says, "Late Charge: 10.00, Daily late fee: 0.00, NSF Charge: 50.00" (Notice there is no dollar sign and no mention of percentage of past due amount, etc.)

I inquired with the leasing office again on where I can find this information about the 10% late fee charge in the lease and they told me I can find that on page 1 in the same location I'd been looking. Since there is no mention of percentage or dollar sign, would it be safe to assume the late charge is really supposed to be $10.00? And in that case, does that mean the complex has gone against the terms of the lease and owes me money?

Asked on 8/12/13, 8:01 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Matthew Schutz Matthew R. Schutz, Esq.

It is a question of who drafted the document. It would be construed against the drafter

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Answered on 8/13/13, 8:57 am

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