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Relating to fees regarding a residential tenant’s failure to timely pay rent.
No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 1414 would clarify that an apartment owner may charge a tenant a "reasonable" late fee for rent. "Reasonable" under this bill means a fee not to exceed 12 percent of the amount of rent. A late fee that exceeds 12 percent of the amount of rent under the lease is considered "reasonable" if the late fee does not exceed uncertain damages to the landlord or indirect expenses, or overhead associated with the collection of late payment. A landlord who violates the fee or notice requirements for late fees would be liable to the tenant for an amount equal to the sum of $100, three times the amount of the late fee collected (rather than charged), and the tenant's reasonable attorney's fees.
Texas Action is neutral on SB 1414 because it does not affect our liberty principles. This bill does not so much add new regulations as it does clarify and amend existing regulations.