Late fees!

My park manager collects the rent and deposits it in my checking account at the local bank.I told the manager if anyone pays late make sure you get the $60 late fee as well and not take any money without the late fee added.Last month one lady paid couple days late and didn’t add the late fee… the manager accepted it… and I pretended that I didn’t notice… because something is better than nothing.Now this month it has been two other people in the same situation that he collected rent from that were late but didn’t collect the late fee from them.I am now upset. Trying to contemplate on what to do.First thing that comes in my mind is to confront the manager and tell him why he collected the late rent without the late fees.Then tell him to collect the late fees from the tenants by X date or there rent will be returned and eviction will start. I don’t want to fire the manager but just slap him straight and obviously have this be his only warning.What do you all do regarding late fees? Oddly enough I couldn’t find any info at all regarding late rent on the forum.

What’s going on here is a normal occurrence unless you force the point – the manager is trying to remove late fees from friends or people that frighten them. This is no different than a waitress at a restaurant that gives her friends extra nachos at the company’s expense.To correct this, you need to review, with the manager, everyone who has not paid on the due date (by calling the manager on the 6th and going name by name) until you have a complete list of everyone who is late that there can be no argument over. Then tell the manager that you expect a late fee on every tenant on that list, no matter what. They will then either charge a late fee, or call your bluff. If they call your bluff, you must now fire them – they are no longer on your team.Don’t fire them yet until you take this step. They might be able to re-train. But if they won’t charge late fees – even after being corrected – then they are no longer the right manager for you.

Late Fees - Manager Not Collecting - This could be one of several possibilities:1.  Late Fees Collected - No:  Tenant was honestly not aware that they were late and the Manager allowed them to slide.2.  Late Fees Collected - No:  Tenant was aware that they were late and the Manager allowed them to slide.3.  Late Fees Collected - Yes:  Tenant gave Late Fees and Manager kept them.Frank’s recommendation to call the Manager the day after the Due Date and go over each Late Tenant is a wonderful idea.  I would also recommend getting the Late Tenants’ Names in an email.  After you speak to the Manager and the Manager selects not to charge a Late Fee, then I would get a new Manager (as per Frank).We allow our Tenants to pay the Rent separately from the Late Fees.  However, if everything (Rent & Late Fees) is not paid by a certain date then we start the Eviction Process.  We send Monthly Bills to our Tenants with the ‘Customer Payment Responsibilities’, which states exactly how much is owed and when the Eviction Process starts.  We wish you the very best!

When I bought my first park I set the late fees as high as legally allowable, $30, with the thought that it would scare the tenants into paying on time. It didn’t. It just ensured that I never collected late fees. I’ve since dropped it to $5/day, beginning the day after the due date. Now, some tenants just go ahead and pay the late fee without my having to ask for it. And, a reasonable late fee like that is much more enforceable than $30…or $60.   Folks in my park ain’t rich. I’d never collect $60. I think the late fee should be a hand smack, not a wrecking ball.

I’ve run into the same problem with my park.  One thing I’ve started doing with good success so far is immediately sending late notices.  Rent is due on the 5th, and the morning of the 6th I count up everyone who hasn’t paid, and the manager issues written notices informing them that they are late, and their amount due is now increased by $40.So far this has cut down on residents trying to claim they weren’t actually late, or making up other stories.  Once it’s in writing they don’t seem to challenge it.

Late Fees for our Mobile Home Parks are based on the USPS Postmark Date.We collect Rent through a Post Office Box.If a Tenant desires not to pay a Late Fee, they need to go to the Post Office before the Late Fee Date and get their envelope Postmarked.Now, we have had some Tenants that think that if they put their envelope in a free standing USPS Box after hours that somehow the envelope will get Postmarked with that day’s date (which is not the case).One of our Tenants has used the above excuse on a couple of occasions.  The last time I made sure to look at the date of their Money Order (which was created after the Late Fee Date) and made a copy of their Money Order.  This time when they called to ‘complain’ about the Late Fee we were able to whip out the copy of the Money Order (which verified that they had gotten the Money Order after the Late Fee Date).We use two different Late Fee Amounts:  1.)  Late Fee #1:  6th-10th2.)  Late Fee #2:  11th Or AfterOne of our friends, who is also a Mobile Home Park Owner for 30 years, collects Late Fees Per Day (like dshinnick).  This method works well for him.I like what Noel does by sending out ‘Written Notices’ for the Late Fees.  I have to agree with Noel that ‘once it’s in writing they don’t seem to challenge it’.We wish you the very best!


Okay sounds good. Yes, I believe I just think the manager is being bullied to take the residents checks without the late fee.Should I send a check back to the late payers of what they paid for the rent or just start eviction and keep their rent payment?Thanks

Those are legal questions for the local court – nobody else can give you the correct answer. If they have already paid the rent, and you accepted it, I don’t think you can legally do that. However, you should send them a letter that you are going to be strict on late fees starting now, and not to try it again because it will not work. That way they are on notice.

Okay will do.So should I not collect the late fees at all for this month? Or have it on their balance for next month? Or tell the manager to go after them now and collect the late fees for this month?

To keep it clean, get a letter to all of your tenants saying that paying rent late is no longer acceptable unless you pay a late fee, and that the manager is no longer allowed to remove late fees.Today is the 12th. Anyone who has not paid September’s rent is obviously late and has to pay a late fee. Anyone who has already paid rent this month got away with murder and it won’t happen again.Then be punctual and firm starting with the rent due October 1st.