Thought's In A Press

Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

Housing Late Fee’s In A Press

In Activism, Department Of Buildings, DHS, Diana Reyna, Erik Dilan, Heating, HPD, HRA, Landlord, Leadership, License, Maintenance, N.Y.State, NY State Assembly, NYC Adminstration, Nydia Velazquez, People, Popular, Rent Regulation, Rent Stabilized, Service's, Slumlord's, Uncategorized on January 18, 2012 at 10:03 PM

UPDATE 1-19-2012:

Well I Found A Registered Mail Pick-Up Slip In  My Mailbox Today. I Will See Tomorrow Morning If It Is The Registered Correspondence That I Requested From The Property Manager, That I Requested From Her, Via E-Mail. Or Some Nefarious Eviction Notice, Of Which I Am Quite Sure Will Be Based Not On Anything Owed, But On Retaliation For Claiming My Right’s Under The NYC Rent Guidelines Rules Or The NY State DHCR Rules And Regulations. We’ll See.

Past Post:

Well Hello My Friends, I Have Searched And Searched This Issue About Late Fee’s And If Some Readers Are Like Me, On A Fixed Income Then I Know From Experience That This Issue Can Keep You Up At Night Worrying About When The Landlord Will Have A Process Server Hand You A Housing Court Order To Show Cause.

Believe Me I Looked And Couldn’t Find One Defense To This….That Is Until After The Crook Working As Property Manager Casually Pulled Out A Sheet Of Lined Notebook Paper, The Kind We Used For The First Grade, And Began, While Writing Out My Current Rent Payment Receipt, That I Had Accrued Late Fee’s……

I Was Flabbergasted And I Thought For A Moment What The……But Alas I Decided To Do The Next Best Thing , I Informed Her That She Will Receive As Rent Payment That Which Is Listed In My Lease And Nothing More…Not One Thin Dime And I Further Suggested, In A  Politely But Hurried Manner  To Finish Writing The Receipt And To Get The Hell Out Of My Apartment.

Here Is What I Later Found While Delving Into The Wonderful World Of The Internet:

Late fees are illegal

    Your lease says you have to pay late fees if your money is paid after the 5th of the month. You signed the lease, promising to pay them. Everybody charges late fees. Even the California Department of Consumer Affairs says you have to pay late fees. You’ve already paid late fees. Your landlord threatens to evict you if you don’t pay the late fees he charges. Judges act like late fees are the landlord’s God-given right. Property management companies, the California Association of Realtors, and apartment association “official” forms all include late fees in the printed portion. You don’t even question it. Who would?

    We went though the same scam with security deposits starting 30 years ago. Security Deposits were supposed to be returned, but landlords kept them. The Legislature said all deposits had to be refundable, so landlords started calling them nonrefundable “cleaning fees,”  to which the Legislature responded that all money, including cleaning fees, were “deposits,” under the law. The courts backed the landlords, and the official forms endorsed the thefts, and the laws have continued to be stronger and more restrictive, so that landlords now have to pay up to 3 times the amount of a wrongfully withheld deposit, and the landlord has several procedures to follow, paperwork to present, and the burden to prove everything. 

    The law regarding residential late fees is almost 30 years old. In 1978, Civil Code 1671 was amended to outlaw virtually all late fees in residential rental agreements. The problem is that it didn’t use the word “late fees,” but instead used the technical legal generic term “liquidated damages,” which would functionally include a late fee by its meaning. Here’s the actual statute:

 §1671. Validity of Liquidated Damages Provisions
(a) This section does not apply in any case where another statute expressly applicable to the contract prescribes the rules or standard for determining the validity of a provision in the contract liquidating the damages for the breach of the contract.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), a provision in a contract liquidating the damages for the breach of the contract is valid unless the party seeking to invalidate the provision establishes that the provision was unreasonable under the circumstances existing at the time the contract was made.
(c) The validity of a liquidated damages provision shall be determined under subdivision (d) and not under subdivision (b) where the liquidated damages are sought to be recovered from either:
(1) A party to a contract for the retail purchase, or rental, by such party of personal property or services, primarily for the party’s personal, family, or household purposes; or
(2) A party to a lease of real property for use as a dwelling by the party or those dependent upon the party for support.
(d) In the cases described in subdivision (c), a provision in a contract liquidating damages for the breach of the contract is void except that the parties to such a contract may agree therein upon an amount which shall be presumed to be the amount of damage sustained by a breach thereof, when, from the nature of the case, it would be impracticable or extremely difficult to fix the actual damage.

    If you looked up “late fees,” this statute didn’t show up, until recently, when the case of Orozco v. Casimiro [(2004) 121 Cal.App.4th Supp. 7] was decided. There, for the first time, an appellate court identified late fees as “liquidated damages” within the meaning of Civil Code 1671, and declared them to be illegal and void, absent extraordinary circumstances.

There Is More From This Site, But I Did Not Want To Post Every Word And Infringe Upon Their Work, Please Visit The Writer’s Site Here:

http://www.caltenantlaw.com/LateFees.htm