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DC Landlord Right to Charge Late Rent Fee

The District of Columbia Code Title 42 Chapter 35 Section 05.31 grants a tenant the right to request door locks to a residential rental property be changed in the following manner:

Authorized Late Fee for the Payment of Rent Beyond 5 Days

(a) Pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, a housing provider may charge a late fee of no more than 5% of the full amount of rent due by a tenant.

(b) A housing provider may only charge a late fee:

(1) If the written lease agreement between the housing provider and the tenant informs the tenant of the maximum amount of the late fee that may be charged pursuant to this section; and

(2) If the tenant has not paid the full amount of rent within 5 days, or any longer grace period that may be provided in the lease, after the day the rent payment is due.

(c) A housing provider shall not:

(1) Charge interest on a late fee;

(2) Deduct any amount of a late fee from a subsequent rent payment;

(3) Impose a late fee more than one time on each late payment;

(4) Evict a tenant on the basis of the nonpayment of a late fee; or

(5) Impose a late fee on a tenant for the late payment or nonpayment of any portion of the rent for which a rent subsidy provider, rather that the tenant, is responsible for paying.

(d) After the grace period established pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section, a housing provider may issue a tenant an invoice to be paid within 30 days after the date of issuance for any lawfully imposed late fees. If the tenant does not pay the late fee within the 30-day period, the housing provider may deduct from a tenant’s security deposit, at the end of the tenancy, any unpaid, lawfully imposed late fees, along with any other amounts lawfully due the housing provider.

DC Code § 42–3505.31.

See also DC Tenant Right to Terminate Lease for Domestic Violence.

Return to District of Columbia Landlord-Tenant Laws.