Landlord-Tenant Issues

Is there a Georgia rental late fee limit?



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From my understanding of the laws in the state of Georgia (USA) as far as a home/property rental, there is no limit on the late fee so long as the late fee has been agreed upon by the tenant and landlord in the signed lease. If there is no late fee mentioned in the lease, the landlord can not just decide to charge one and make one up. From the State of Georgia's Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Landlord-Tenant Handbook: The date the rent is due should be stated in your lease or agreed upon by the landlord and tenant. There is no law which specifies any grace period or designates a rent due date. Rather, a grace period is a matter of agreement between the landlord and tenant. It allows the tenant extra time in which to pay the rent without breaching the lease or rental agreement. The landlord and tenant may agree to any grace period they choose or they can agree not to have a grace period. In addition, a grace period may be created based on the landlord's conduct of accepting late rent over the course of several months without charging a penalty. If a tenant fails to pay the rent by the required date, including the time allowed for a grace period, the landlord may charge a late fee if the late fee is provided for in the lease. If the lease does not allow for a late fee, the landlord is not allowed to impose such a fee. The amount of the late fee will be the amount agreed upon by the landlord and tenant in the lease itself.