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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 a landlord charging a tenant a late fee for failing to pay rent may only do so under certain conditions. The bill revises those conditions by: (1) replacing the condition that the rent has remained unpaid for one full day after the due date with a condition that any portion of the rent has remained unpaid for two full days after the due date; and (2) replacing the condition that the fee is a reasonable estimate of uncertain damages with a condition that the fee is reasonable.
This bill would establish that the fee is reasonable if the fee is not more than 12 percent of the amount of rent if the dwelling contains no more than four dwelling units, or not more than 10 percent if the structure contains more than four dwelling units. It would also be reasonable if the fee is more than that applicable amount, but not more than uncertain damages to the landlord related to the late payment of rent.
This bill would also establish that the combined fees of an initial late fee and a daily late fee are considered to be a single late fee, and would authorize a tenant to request that the landlord provide a written statement of whether the tenant owes a late fee and, if yes, then the amount of the late fee.
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.