As a landlord, you may also want to establish policies for late rent payments. No matter how well you screen your applicants, the odds are at some time or another you'll be faced with a tenant who fails to make payments on time. The most effective policies specify a reasonable late fee. Explain that the late fee will be charged after a certain grace period following the rent due date.
The actual amount you can charge for a late fee varies by state. Some states require you to charge a flat rate for a late payment. Others allow you to charge a percentage, sometimes up to 15% of the monthly rental amount.
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Updated April 13, 2012