Late Payments and Changing the Rent Amount

Landlords either impose a one-time late fee or a per-day late fee.

If your tenant pays you late in Florida it is important to know that there is no statute on the amount of the late fee. Landlords either impose a one-time late fee or a per-day late fee. With either method, the fee should serve as compensation for not having the rent paid on time as well as a deterrent to paying late.

While the landlord can not change the rental amount during the agreement term, he can change it for a tenancy after the agreement term expires. This means that a landlord, when renewing a lease with a tenant, can inform them of a rent increase. This information must be provided in writing at least 30 days prior to the start of a new tenancy. Practically speaking, this is all accomplished when the landlord and tenant communicate about whether the tenant will be renewing the lease.

Sliding scale for returned check fees

Florida civil code contains a statute that regulates how much can be charged for a returned check fee. Basically, if a tenant pays by check and it bounces the landlord can collect bank fees that were incurred because of the bounced check along with a service charge. The service charge is calculated on a sliding scale based on the dollar amount of the check:

  • $25 if the face value does not exceed $50;
  • $30 if the face value exceeds $50 but does not exceed $300;
  • $40 if the face value exceeds $300; or
  • 5 percent of the face value of the payment instrument, whichever is greater.

If your tenant pays rent using LeaseRunner’s Tenant Payment Center LeaseRunner will charge the returned check fee directly to your tenant. This is because we clear the rent payment through our bank account first before sending the payment to the landlord. Collecting the service charge is then the responsibility of the landlord.