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  • Fees

    Hello all. I was hoping I could get your input on what you all charge for fees once a Tenant has had the lien fee assessed to them. The fees that I currently charge are as follows: $20.00 late fee (after 5 days late), lien fee on the 25th day. Also on the day that I send my certified letter (the 25th day) I charge a $6.00 certified mail fee. Two days before the auction I charge a $250.00 auction fee. If the Tenant comes in before the auction and pays in full, I dismiss the auction fee but I am thinking about charging them a $20.00 for cancelling the auction. I am also considering charging a $10.00 admin fee on the day that we have to open their unit and take pictures for the auction. Fortunately I do not have that many auctions but looking ahead I thought I would ask you all what your protocols are. Thank you!
    "A Dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself".

  • #2
    I think the $250 auction fee is steep. If you were to try and collect on it or get into a lawsuit, you may have difficulty showing that $250 is a reasonable amount to charge (we do $100). We do a late fee ($25), $7 certified mail, $cost for the legal notice required, $20 or $30 to cut the lock (same charge if the tenant needs a lock cut off), and the $100 auction fee. There is no cancelation fee because if the auction occurs or not, it doesn't change what we owe. You mention charging a $10 "admin" fee. I wouldn't call it that, an admin fee is typically charged up front when you rent the unit. you could charge a "cut lock" fee and charge for a new lock if you wish. Whatever route you go, make sure everything is clearly spelled out in your lease otherwise you won't have much ground to stand on. Good luck

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    • #3
      Our late fees are $15 and applied on the 8th and 21st. When they reach 45 days past due, we cut their lock and charge $50 lock cut fee. I usually send out my certified/verified letters the same day and charge $30 for that fee. Our publication fee is $50, auction fee is $50. We do have a $20 cancellation fee, as well. As letsgosonics stated, make sure all fees are outlined in your lease and follow your state's guidelines.

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      • #4
        We do a $20 late fee at 5 days past due, a $50 Pre-lien fee at 35 days, and a $125 auction fee at 55 days. We also charge a late fee for each individual rent month, so really for the people who let it go all the way to auction it's $60 in late fees. Do you do this method as well, or only charge one late fee for the monthly rent? If you only charge on $20 late fee, then the auction fee isn't too bad. I'm presuming you would charge the $20 cancellation fee in place of the auction fee if they pay up?

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        • #5
          Some states dictate the fees, so you should check your statutes to be sure you're following the guidelines for your state as you decide what to charge moving forward.
          MamaDuke

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          • #6
            Rent is always on the first and if make it to the second month without paying they owe 2 months rent. late fee and lock out on the 10th and is $10, $15, $20 depending on unit size. If the tenant gets to the second month late fee it is charged again and I cut the lock anytime after that for $50 plus $18 for another lock if they decide to stay and I have already cut the lock off. Then the newspaper auction ad fees are $100 and cert letter fee is $10 and if actually get to the day the auction closes down there is a $100 auction fee. I start the advertising in the newspaper anytime after the lock cut day and the auction ends 15 days after that. I would always have the auction done by the end of the second month.
            "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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            • #7
              I'm in Arizona, your state no doubt varies on laws.

              Our late fee is applied after 5 days late (6th), minimum $10 or 20% of the rental rate, whichever is greater.
              32 days late 1st notice of default $20. Letter sent with certificate of mailing.
              40 days late 2nd notice of default $20 Letter sent with certificate of mailing.
              40 days late cut lock/inventory in prep for auction $50
              62 days late auction $50

              The new owners pay a 3rd party to process all notice of default (lien letters) and the cost is passed along. The old owners charged a $10 default fee and I would just take the letters to the post office to get my paperwork stamped in the same trip I made a bank run or what not.

              Like others said, your auction fee may not hold up in court unless you have an auctioneer on site that is going to charge around $250 to sell that one unit. Storage Treasures is free to create an account and list the auction. If you cancel, presumably because the customer paid, you pay a $20 cancellation fee. Laws here state that a fee must be "reasonable". I doubt a court will see a $250 charge for a $20 cancellation fee as reasonable.

              Does your state require you to send letters via certified mail? CA and AZ you just do certificate of mailing. We don't need delivery confirmation, only something to show that you mail "X" person a letter on "Y" day. If you're send 3 or more letters, it's 40 cents a letter and $1.40 each if it's two or less. Arizona lets you email the notice and the electronic record that the email was sent is sufficient to show proof you sent notice.
              A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

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              • #8
                I agree with letsgosonics $250 is steep, our auction fee is $80
                Dave (Woodee) Scott

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                • #9
                  Here are our fee's

                  Late fee 5th day past due $10
                  Overlock Fee 15th Day past due $25
                  Pre Lien 35th day past due (this is a warning that we are about to cut off their lock) $10
                  Auction Fee $75.00 This includes cutting the lock and any required advertisements and mailings
                  Post Auction Fee $20 charged at the completion of an auction.

                  As another person asked how would you justify your fees to a judge if you had to?

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                  • #10
                    Late fees keep adding up and a $50 auction fee and a $15 cut lock fee.

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                    • #11
                      Our fees vary from State to State but the dates are all the same:
                      Due on the 1st
                      Late on the 5th
                      Additional Late on the 15th

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