Texas Landlords Have Increased Rent Late Fees to Record Levels

More than 50 percent of people in Texas are now renters, as the cost of home ownership has become unaffordable for many. And many of those renters spend 40 percent or more of their disposable monthly income just on rent. Some landlords have taken advantage of the situation, increasing rents and adding more and more fees, like pest control fees, trash fees, valet trash fees, drainage fees, service fees and billing fees (yes, some landlords will charge you a fee to send you a monthly bill). Water and electricity are additional costs too. The stated rental rate is only part of the real cost to rent an apartment in Texas.

If your landlord has charged you a rent late fee for being only a day or two late, it may be illegal under Texas law. You may be entitled to compensation of up to three times the amount of the late fee, plus a civil penalty and attorney fees.

At The Monts Firm in Austin, we file civil claims against landlords who charge excessive rent late fees. Call 512-474-6092 for a free attorney consultation. We handle rent late fee cases across Texas, including Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio.

Rent Late Fees Have Been Rising in Texas

Over the past decade as the economy in Texas has boomed, particularly in larger cities such as Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio, large corporate landlords have increased their late fees to unprecedented levels as they try to wring every dime of revenue from tenants. First-day-late fees have increased from $50 to $75-$100. Some charge fixed late fees up to 10 percent of a month's rent if rent is paid after the third day of the month.

Some landlords now assess a whopping $100 late fee on the first day rent is considered late (usually the third or fourth day of the month). In addition to the first-day-late charge, additional late fees typically are added at the rate of $10-$15 per day.

Late fees have come to represent a substantial source of extra revenue for many large corporate landlords. Texas law prohibits landlords from charging rent late fees merely to increase their revenue or to punish tenants who pay their rent a few days late. Instead, late fees must compensate landlords only for their estimated damages when tenants pay their rent late.

For More Information About the Rights of Texas Renters

Call 512-474-6092 or send us an email for a confidential consultation with an experienced lawyer. There is no cost to renters.