Portland, OR asked in Landlord - Tenant for Oregon

Q: I paid my rent through my banks online bill pay. The checked was mailed by bank on 8/37. I checked online around1st t

Make sure all gd. On 8th they taped eviction notice on my porch. I walked a new check next door that day. I provided them with proof of bank mailing. They want me to pay them a late fee of $100 under these circumstances. Is that legal. I’m also a landlord and I always text to let tenants know I didn’t get check. Do I have to ask them if they received it Every mth? They know we’ve had terrible problems with mail lately, but I did not know back when it was late.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Unfortunately, the burden is on the tenant to see that the rent is paid on time. It is also the tenant's choice as to how to convey that payment to the landlord. This means that while you relied upon the bank and the postal service, they apparently let you down and your rent was late (did it ever show up? If so, the postmark on the envelope should confirm the timely mailing, even if not receipt). A landlord does not have to notify the tenant when rent is late, beyond issuing a 72 hr notice if they wish to either get paid or terminate the tenancy. Many landlords would understand, particularly if you can prove you tried to timely pay, but if they want to insist on the late fee, you likely owe it given it was your obligation to see they go paid on time and they were not through no fault of their own. It does beg the question that if all you have to do is walk a check next door, it would seem an easy way of assuring timely rent payment and avoidance of this sort of problem but that is your choice.

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