Tenant bounced check fees

If one of your tenant bounces a check, do you charge both a late fee and bounce check fee or only one fee? Charging them both would be quite a bit. Thanks

Charge both. They’ve both not paid on time AND have bounced a check on you. We then never again accept a check from such residents. They must always pay with money order.


Tony, we have had this situation a couple of times in one of our Mobile Home Parks.

One was an elderly woman and the other was a younger woman whose Pay Check was not Direct Deposited.

Technically & Businesswise, we should have charged for both (Late & Bounced) like Jefferson stated.

However, we selected to just charge the Bounced Check Fee. We selected the Bounced Check Fee as we needed that amount of money to cover actual Bank Fees.

We wish you the best :).

If we are talking about lot rent (not finance payments) I’m with Jefferson. They owe both, you should charge both - to everyone never make an exception or you could end up with regulatory problems. Your lease and your policy and procedure manual should spell that out in the first place.

Tenants often say “my bank made an error - that’s why my check bounced.”  We always say “No problem, just get us a letter from your bank saying that.”  In all the years we’ve been in this business, and after all the excuses we’ve heard, precisely one person has ever produced a letter from their bank admitting it was the bank’s fault.We, of course, let that person again pay with check.-jl-

I’ll just note that some states (Illinois may be one of them, e.g.) will only allow you to charge the actual cost of the bounced check. You can still charge a late fee, but it generally needs to represent some actual “cost” not just a flat $100. As Ken notes, the lease will certainly cover the fees that you charge the resident (and that they agreed to!), but you might double check the regulations when you draft the next lease.