Unfortunately, it would be extremely rare that we could waive a rental tenant's late fees on a property. As Property Managers we are regulated (as property management companies should be) including fair housing regulations. Essentially it is important that we treat all tenants under our management the same and without favoritism. We can not waive rental late fees for one property and not for another. Obviously, beyond regulation, this is also under the scope of basic fairness and the right thing for a property manager to do.
Additionally, landlords rely upon their rents. Most of the landlords we manage need their rents on time to make their mortgage payments on your rental property. When rent comes in late, so can the landlord's mortgage payment. A fair late fee, one that is inline with the city of Philadelphia requirements, can help to counter some of the fallout from a late rental payment.
There are rare exceptions where we will waive a tenant's rental late fee:
- If we determine that your rental payment was somehow late due to an issue on our end, then we would waive the late fee.
- Your rent is only late due to something that was the responsibility of us, your property manager, then we would agree to waive your late fee. For example, if we overcharged you in some way, making your rent amount past due.
- Occasionally, if we feel there was a truly a misunderstanding, or a confusion with a new tenant, we might waive the late fee. However, as a property management company, since we are regulated by Fair Housing Laws we need to be able to demonstrate how and why we arrived at the decision.
- Occasionally we do see obvious accidents like when a tenant under pays their rent by $20. In that case it makes sense if we waive the rental late fee as long as the missing portion is paid within a day of our contacting the tenant. However, repeatedly making this mistake would not allow us to waive the rental late fee.
Again, to keep our property management company consistent with a Fair Housing random audits these are the only circumstances we can consider waiving a late fee.
Of course we do have compassion when a tenant is having a difficult time financially, or emotionally, such as an illness or a death in the family; but as a licensed industry we can not operate in a tenant to tenant basis as each circumstance is relative to that individual.
Instead we are required to operate strictly to policy. Otherwise at some point we might need answer the question why we allowed it in one case and not the other.
If you feel your circumstances fit the ones listed above, contact us through your tenant portal and we will get back to you on if we can make the adjustment.