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Late Rent Laws: All 50 States

Most states have clear laws regarding landlord-tenant arrangements. This includes rules regarding what can and can’t happen when a person is late paying their rent. Here is an overview of what each state requires, including if there are rules about late rent, grace periods, late fees, and more.

Late Rent Laws in Alabama

In Alabama, rent is due on the date specified in your lease per Alabama Code § 35-9A-161(c). There are no laws covering late rent fees. However, if your lease doesn’t list what the late fee is or when one could be imposed, the landlord can’t charge a late fee.

However, Alabama landlords must give you at least seven days to either pay the rent or move out. If a tenant chooses not to pay or leave, the landlord can initiate eviction procedures.

Late Rent Laws in Alaska

Per Alaska Statute § 34.03.020(c), rent is due on the date listed in the lease. There are no statutes regarding grace periods. However, automatic late fees aren’t legally enforceable unless they were previously agreed upon by both the landlord and the tenant. Usually, if late fees are in the lease, they are enforceable.

If the tenant fails to abide by the lease, the landlord can terminate the arrangement. Seven days’ notice is required per §§ 34.03.220(b).

Late Rent Laws in Arizona

Rent in Arizona is due on the date specified in the lease agreement. If a tenant misses the due date, a late fee can be assessed. Per Arizona Revised Statute Ann. § 33-1368(b), as long as details about the late fee, including when they can be applied and the amount, are in the lease.

Arizona Revised Statute Ann. § 33-1368 also requires landlords to provide tenants with a minimum of five days to pay or move. After that, the landlord can file for eviction.

Late Rent Laws in Arkansas

Arkansas has a variety of rules regarding rental agreements, including what can happen if rent is late. Per Ark. Code Ann. §§ 18-17-401, rent is due on the date listed in the lease. Any penalties for late payments must be formally spelled out in the agreement. If late fees are not listed in the lease, they cannot be applied.

In Arkansas, renters must be given written notice to vacate, providing them with at least three days to leave the property. If a tenant chooses not to vacate, they can object to the eviction and pursue action through the court system.

Late Rent Laws in California

The rent due date listed in a lease in California is when payment is legally due. Failing to provide the money by the due date could result in a late fee, suggesting that the rules and amount are spelled out in the agreement and align with local law.

Under California law, starting with California Civil Code §§ 1925, the late fee must be deemed “reasonable,” though there is no clear definition regarding what that means, such as a percentage of rent. If rent is late due to a check bouncing, landlords can charge an additional fee of $25 to $35, depending on whether it is the first incident.

California law does not require any grace period. However, if one is listed in the lease agreement, the landlord must abide by it.

Late Rent Laws in Colorado

In Colorado, according to state landlord/tenant law, rent is due on the date listed in the lease. Even missing that date by a single day can be grounds for eviction, as there is no grace period in Colorado. To move forward with the eviction, landlords must follow the rules set out in C.R.S. §13-40-101.

If a landlord chooses to provide a grace period or assess late fees, those must be presented in the lease.

Late Rent Laws in Connecticut

Unlike many other states, Connecticut does have laws that make a grace period necessary. While rent is due on the date listed in the lease, tenants typically have 4 to 9 days before the landlord can formally terminate the rental arrangement. Late fees also cannot be assessed during the grace period, per C.G.S. §§ 47a-15a and 47a-4(a)(8).

The grace period also covers rent that was placed in the mail during the specified period, regardless of whether the payment was received by the landlord before the grace period ends. Generally, as long as the rent payment envelope is postmarked before the end of the grace period, late fees cannot be assessed.

Further, late fees can only be assessed if they are spelled out in the lease agreement. They also must be “reasonable.”

Late Rent Laws in Delaware

Per Del. Code Ann. Tit. 25, § 5501, rent is due on the date specified in the lease. The law also states that late fees cannot exceed 5 percent of the monthly rent for the dwelling. Further, that a late fee cannot be charged within the first five days of being late, effectively creating a five-day grace period.

However, Del. Code Ann. Tit. 25, § 5502 does allow landlords to provide a notice to vacate immediately once rent is missed. The law does require the landlord to give the tenant five days to address the past-due rent, preventing action from being taken until the grace period lapses. If the tenant does not provide payment within the five day time period, the landlord can move forward with additional actions, such as eviction procedures.

Late Rent Laws in District of Columbia (Washington DC)

In the District of Columbia, DC Law 21-172 restricts late fees to five percent of the amount of rent that is due. However, that late fee must be spelled out in the lease agreement or other formal notification given in writing.

If the tenant pays the full amount due within five days of being past the due date listed in the lease, a late fee cannot be assessed. Landlords are also explicitly prohibited from charging interest on late fees, imposing multiple late fees on the same past due amount, moving forward with eviction based solely on a tenant failing to pay a late fee, or charging tenants late fees on rent portions that are the responsibility subsidy providers.

Late Rent Laws in Florida

Per Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.46, rent is due on the date listed in the lease agreement. If the tenant fails to pay rent and the default extends for three days (not including weekends or legal holidays), the landlord can deliver a written demand for rent, in accordance with Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.56. This effectively creates a three-day grace period, after which the landlord can begin with eviction proceedings.

Any late fees that may be assessed must be included in the lease agreement. Otherwise, they may not be legally enforceable.

Late Rent Laws in Georgia

The due date listed in the rental agreement is legally what’s required. While there is no legal requirement to offer a grace period, landlords can choose to add one to the lease.

Georgia does not have any specific laws limiting late fees, though they typically must be deemed “reasonable.” Per Georgia landlord/tenant law, any late fees or returned check charges must be spelled out in the lease. For bad checks, the fees must align with O.C.G.A. §13-6-15.

Late Rent Laws in Hawaii

In Hawaii, per Haw. Rev. Stat. § 521-21, rent is due on the date listed in the lease. Any late rent or returned check penalties must be included in the lease agreement.

Per Haw. Rev. Stat. § 521-68, landlords can notify tenants in writing that the rental agreement will be terminated if payment is not received within a specified period, the minimum length permitted being five business days. If the tenant continues to default, additional action, including eviction proceedings, are permissible.

Late Rent Laws in Idaho

While the rent due date and any late fees that may be assessed must be included in the lease, there are no specific laws limiting the amount of the late fee. However, if the tenant is late due to a bounced check, Idaho Code §§ 28-22-105 applies, requiring the landlord to provide 15 days for the situation to be remedied.

If a tenant is late, per the landlord/tenant handbook, landlords must issue a written notice to pay and provide three days for compliance. At that point, eviction filings can begin.

Late Rent Laws in Illinois

In accordance with 770 ILCS 95/7.10, landlords can charge a “reasonable” late fee if rent is past due. Per the law, “reasonable” is a late fee that is the higher of $20 or 20 percent of the monthly rental fee that went unpaid. The fee can be assessed if rent isn’t paid in full by five days after the due date listed in the lease agreement.

However, late fees can only be charged if they are part of the lease agreement. If they are not included in that document or an agreed-upon addendum, they cannot be assessed.

Late Rent Laws in Indiana

Indiana law does not specifically cover late rent fees, so there are no formal limits regarding how much a landlord can charge. However, landlords must require details about late fees in the lease agreements. Otherwise, they cannot charge a fee, even if it would legally be deemed reasonable.

Ind. Code Ann. § 32-31-1-6 does outline landlord rights when a tenant fails to pay, including allowing the termination of the rental agreement after providing ten days’ notice.

Late Rent Laws in Iowa

As outlined in Iowa Code Ann. §§ 562A.9, rent is due on the date listed in the lease. Landlords are not required to provide a grace period, though they can choose to do so if they want to include one in the agreement.

If rent is $700 a month or less, any late fee cannot exceed $12 per day, limited to no more than $60 per month. For rent greater than $700 a month, the late fee is limited to $20 per day, not to exceed $100 per month. Per §§ 554.3512, returned check fees cannot exceed $30.

Late Rent Laws in Kansas

Rent is legally due in Kansas on the date set in the lease. Failure to pay in a timely manner could trigger a late fee, suggesting one is listed in the rental agreement. There are no laws limiting the size of the late fee, though it typically must be deemed “reasonable.”

Kan. Rev. Stat. § 58-2564 does state that landlords must give tenants three days to pay before they terminate the lease agreement for nonpayment. A notice of nonpayment must be provided in writing before the three-day timer begins.

Late Rent Laws in Kentucky

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 383.565 states that rent is due on the day agreed upon by both parties, usually as outlined in a lease agreement. Otherwise, there are no legal limits on late fees or required grace periods. However, K.R.S. § 514.040 does limit bounced check fees to $50.

Late Rent Laws in Louisiana

Per LA. Civ. Code Ann. Art. 2703, rent is due at the beginning of the term, as outlined in the lease. Per LA. Civ. Code Ann. Art. 2704, the landlord can dissolve the lease after a failure to pay.

There are not formal laws regarding late fees or grace periods. However, late fees can only be assessed if they are included in the lease or an agreed-upon addendum. Additionally, landlords must provide a five-day (not including weekends or holidays) notice to vacate before moving forward with eviction, but, per L.A. Civ. Code Ann. art. 4701, they do not have to stop proceeding even if the tenant pays the past due amount.

Late Rent Laws in Maine

Per Maine Title 14, § 6028, landlords can assess a late fee if payment is not made within 15 days or the agreed upon due date. The maximum penalty a landlord can assess is 4 percent of the monthly rent amount.

While late fees are permitted, landlords must inform the tenant that they can be assessed prior to charging a fee. Usually, this means listing the details in the lease or in an agreed-upon addendum.

Late Rent Laws in Maryland

Under Maryland landlord/tenant law, landlords must include details of any potential late fees in the lease agreement. While landlords are not required to provide a grace period, late fees are limited to 5 percent of the amount owed or, for weekly paid rent, $3 a week, not to exceed $12 a month.

Landlords can evict a tenant for nonpayment and can begin proceedings immediately after the due date is missed.

Late Rent Laws in Massachusetts

Per Massachusetts landlord/tenant law, landlords cannot charge interest or late fees until 30 days after the missed rent payment. Any late payment that may be assessed must be included in the lease.

Eviction proceedings can be launched immediately after a missed payment. However, a landlord may choose to offer a grace period if they so choose.

Late Rent Laws in Michigan

Michigan has no specific laws regarding late fees or grace periods. However, if a landlord wants to assess a late fee, it typically must be included in the lease.

Per Michigan landlord/tenant law, nonpayment can be grounds for eviction proceedings. A landlord cannot begin an eviction lawsuit for nonpayment until without providing a minimum of seven days’ notice.

Late Rent Laws in Minnesota

Per Minnesota Statute §504B.177, landlords cannot charge a late fee unless they and the tenant have agreed in writing that one can be assessed. Usually, that means late fees must be included in the lease or a formal addendum that both parties approve. Late fees cannot exceed 8 percent of the overdue amount. However, in accordance with Minnesota Statute §604.113, landlords can charge up to a $30 fee for a bounced check on top of the late rent fee.

Landlords must outline how much notice they will provide before going forward with eviction proceedings in the lease. Otherwise, the minimum time defaults to fourteen days.

Late Rent Laws in Mississippi

There are no formal laws regarding late fee limits in Mississippi, though they generally must be considered “reasonable” to be enforceable. Additionally, they must be included in the lease.

If a tenant fails to pay, per Miss. Code Ann. § 89-7-27, they must be given a three-day notice to either provide the payment or vacate.

Late Rent Laws in Missouri

According to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.060, rent is due on the date in the lease agreement. There are not formal laws limiting the size of a late fee. However, the details of any late fees must be included in the lease or an approved addendum to be enforceable. Grace periods are not required in Missouri, though landlords can offer one if they so choose.

Late Rent Laws in Montana

In Montana, rent is due on the date listed in the agreement, per Mont. Ann. Code §§70-24-201. There is no formal limit on late fees, though it typically must be included in the lease to be enforceable.

If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, according to Montana landlord/tenant law, the landlord must provide three days’ notice of their intention to terminate the agreement.

Late Rent Laws in Nebraska

In accordance with Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1414, rent is due on the date listed in your lease. However, in accordance with Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1431(2), tenants have seven days after receiving written notice of nonpayment to pay before the landlord can formally terminate the agreement.

Late fees can only be assessed if they are included in the lease or an approved addendum, according to §§ 76-1414(1), though there is no explicit limit on the amount. Returned check fees, however, are limited to $10 (plus any handling fee, if deemed “reasonable”), in accordance with §§ 28-611(5).

Late Rent Laws in Nevada

Rent is due on the date listed on the lease. According to N.R.S. 118A.210, a landlord may charge a late fee if it is included in the agreement. The amount of the late fee cannot exceed 5 percent of the payment amount, usually the weekly or monthly rent payment, depending on the arrangement. Additionally, the late fee amount can’t be increased based upon previously assessed late fees.

Tenants do have five days to pay any overdue rent (or to move out) before a landlord can file for an eviction, effectively creating a grace period for removal from the property.

Late Rent Laws in New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 540 states that rent is due on the date agreed, usually based on what is listed in the lease. There are no formal limits on late fee sizes, though they must be included in your lease agreement to be enforceable.

Landlords must provide tenants with seven days’ notice before moving forward with eviction procedures. During that period, tenants can “remedy the situation” by handling any past due financial obligations.

Late Rent Laws in New Jersey

There are no formal limits on late fees in New Jersey, though they must typically be considered “reasonable,” and the details of them must be included in the lease. There also isn’t a required grace period for most tenants.

However, per N.J.S.A § 2A:42-6.1, senior citizens and certain other individuals must be given a five-day grace period to pay (not including weekends or holidays). Usually, those receiving Social Security payments, railroad pensions, or certain other public benefits are potentially eligible for the grace period.

When a grace period doesn’t apply or once that period passes, landlords can begin eviction procedures the day following the due date.

Late Rent Laws in New Mexico

Per N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-15, late fees are limited to 10 percent of the monthly rent amount, and can only be applied after the tenant is more than three days late. Additionally, details discussing the late fee must be included in the lease or an approved addendum to be enforceable.

Landlords also must provide notice of the late fee by the end of the month following the missed payment. For example, if a tenant misses their January payment, written notice of an owed late fee must be provided to the tenant by the last day of February. Otherwise, the landlord forfeits the fee.

Late Rent Laws in New York

In accordance with N.Y. Real Prop. Law § 238-A, tenants have five days from the due date to pay rent before a fee can be assessed. Any fee must be included in the lease. Additionally, late fees cannot exceed $50 or five percent of the rent amount, whichever is smaller, per the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019.

Demands for rent must also be made in writing, and landlords must wait at least 14 days before initiating court proceedings for nonpayment. Those proceedings will cease if payment is made before the first court date associated with the case. Eviction warrants must also be served 14 days prior to their full enforcement.

Late Rent Laws in North Carolina

In North Carolina, rent is due on the date listed in the least. Late fees are permitted if they are addressed in the agreement. However, per N.C. Gen. Stat. § 42-46, for monthly rent, they are limited to $15.00 or 5 percent of the monthly rent amount, whichever is greater. For weekly rent, the limit is the higher of $4.00 or 5 percent of the weekly rent amount.

Late fees can only be imposed one time for each missing payment. Additionally, late fees cannot be deducted from subsequent rent payments, a process that would cause the tenant to default again.

Late Rent Laws in North Dakota

There are no official limits on late fees in North Dakota. However, per landlord/tenant law, landlords must outline any late fees in the lease agreement for them to be enforceable. Failure to pay rent in full by the date specified in the lease can potentially trigger a late fee, as no grace period is required.

If a tenant fails to pay, landlords can move forward with eviction proceedings. An eviction notice must give the tenant a minimum of three days to leave the property. If they refuse, court hearings can move forward.

Late Rent Laws in Ohio

Landlords are allowed to charge late fees if the tenant fails to pay, suggesting the details of the fee are included in the lease. Though, per O.R.C. § 5322.05, a late fee must be deemed “reasonable” to be enforceable. Generally, a fee of $20 or 20 percent of the amount owed is deemed reasonable.

Additionally, the tenant must be given three days after the due date before a late fee can be assessed. Landlords, however, can also add additional fees for any expenditures related to the collection of past due rent.

Late Rent Laws in Oklahoma

In accordance with Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 41, § 109, rent is due on the day listed in the lease. There is no required grace period, so a late fee can be assessed the day after the missed payment. Additionally, there are no rules regarding the size of a late fee, though it typically must be considered “reasonable.” The late fee must also be outlined in the lease to be enforceable.

If a tenant fails to pay rent within five days after receiving written notice of nonpayment, the landlord can terminate the agreement.

Late Rent Laws in Oregon

Landlords can charge late fees in accordance with Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.260, as long as the details of which are covered in the lease. Additionally, late fees can only be assessed if the tenant is not received by the fourth day following the due date.

The late fee amount must be a “reasonable” flat fee. When calculated daily, the late fee cannot exceed 6 percent of the stated flat fee. In total, the late fee amount cannot exceed 5 percent of the monthly rent rate.

After rent is eight days late, landlords can issue a pay or quit notice, giving the tenant 72 hours to provide payment or vacate the premises. If notice is provided when the tenant is only five days late, 144 hours must be provided.

Late Rent Laws in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has no laws limiting late fees or requiring grace periods. However, to be enforceable, late fees usually must be listed in the lease agreement and be deemed “reasonable” and not punitive in nature.

Per the Pennsylvania Landlord-Tenant Act of 1951, landlords can initiate eviction proceedings the day after a rent payment becomes overdue. However, they must provide ten days’ notice to vacate.

Late Rent Laws in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-18-15 states that rent is considered due on the date on your lease. There are no specific laws limiting late fees. In most cases, a landlord can assess a “reasonable” late fee, the amount of which must be specified in the rental agreement to typically be considered enforceable.

If a tenant fails to pay rent within 15 days of the due date, according to the landlord/tenant handbook, the landlord can send a written notice specifying the overdue amount and provide them with five days to pay. If they fail to do so, the landlord can proceed with an eviction.

Late Rent Laws in South Carolina

According to S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-310, rent is due on the date included in the lease. If the tenant fails to pay within five days, based on S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-710, the landlord can issue a notice of nonpayment and express the intention to terminate the agreement and initiate eviction proceedings.

Late fees are permitted, and there are no specific laws limiting their size. Generally, any late fees must be “reasonable” and included in the lease to be considered enforceable.

Late Rent Laws in South Dakota

South Dakota landlord/tenant law states that landlords can move forward with eviction proceedings once the tenant is three days late paying rent. Late fees are permitted, though typically must be outlined in the lease and deemed “reasonable” to be considered fully enforceable.

Late Rent Laws in Tennessee

In accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-201, landlords must provide tenants with a five day grace period for rent payments. That means tenants cannot be charged a late fee or be the subject of any other adverse action (such as eviction proceedings) based on nonpayment if they pay their rent in full within five days after the due date in the lease.

Additionally, late fees are limited to 10 percent of the monthly or weekly rental amount, depending on the standard term. For a late fee to be enforceable, it usually must be listed in the lease agreement.

Late Rent Laws in Texas

Per Tex. Prop Code Ann. §§ 92.019, late fees can be assessed if they are “reasonable” and included in a written lease. Landlords cannot charge a late fee until two days after the due date included in the rental agreement.

Generally, late fees are reasonable if they are no more than 12 percent of the rent amount for the period if the building contains four or fewer dwellings. When a building contains more than four dwellings, 10 percent is the limit.

Late Rent Laws in Utah

In Utah, there are no laws limiting late fees for past due rent. However, late fees typically have to be listed in the lease and considered “reasonable” to be enforceable. Returned check fees are limited to $20 per U.C.A. §§ 7-15-2.

There is no required grace period, though landlords can choose to provide one.

Late Rent Laws in Vermont

In accordance with Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9, § 4455, rent is due on the date provided in the lease. The day after the due date, payment is considered late, and late fees can apply.

However, according to landlord-tenant law, the fee not only has to be in the lease, but it also is limited to an amount deemed reasonable based on the costs incurred to collect. It can not serve as a penalty or be punitive in nature.

Late Rent Laws in Virginia

Landlords may charge a late fee if the tenant has failed to make full payment by the fifth day of the month, according to Va. Code Ann. § 55.1-1204. Details of the late fee must be included in the rental agreement to be considered enforceable. By default, this essentially creates a five-day grace period for rent payments.

If the tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord can provide a 5-day notice of termination of the agreement. If the tenant fails to cover the back rent, eviction proceedings can commence.

Late Rent Laws in Washington

According to RCW 59.18, rent is due on the date listed in the lease. While there are no specific limits on late fees, the details have to appear in the lease, and the amount has to be deemed “reasonable.”

There is no official grace period in Washington. However, SB 5600 requires landlords to provide a minimum of 14 days’ notice before launching eviction proceedings, including for failure to pay rent.

Late Rent Laws in West Virginia

Per West Virginia Code § 37-6A-2, late fees are permitted if rent is not paid on the due date specified in the lease. There is no required grace period for late fees. However, the fee must be reasonable and listed in the rental agreement to be considered enforceable.

In West Virginia, according to landlord/tenant law, landlords do not have to give prior notice before filing for eviction if a tenant is behind on rent.

Late Rent Laws in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Statute § 704 and Wis. Adm. Code ch. ATCP 134 require landlords to outline any late fees in writing, though do not limit the amount that can be charged as long as the late fee is “reasonable.” Additionally, landlords cannot use funds from subsequent monthly rent payments to cover past late fees, which could potentially cause a tenant to be short on their rent for that month and trigger a new fee. Penalties or fees also cannot be assessed for failing to pay a late fee.

Failing to pay rent is a qualification for eviction proceedings, even if the payment is only one day late. There is no required grade period.

Late Rent Laws in Wyoming

Wyoming has no specific statutes regarding late fees. However, landlord/tenant law states that rent is due on the date in the lease, and landlords can charge late fees for past due rent as long as it is discussed in the rental agreement.

If rent is three or more days late, landlords can legally initiate eviction proceedings as long as they provide the tenant with three days’ notice.