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Additional Fees – Something Both Tenants and Landlords Can Agree To Hate

by Amit Magdieli
December 11, 2014

It may seem like landlords love charging additional fees to tenants, but the truth is, additional fees are a headache for tenant and landlord alike. While it may seem in the landlord’s best interest to take as many additional fees as possible, such as late fees, sublet fees, or pet fees, the truth is that it piles on more cost for the landlord, who must spend more to draft paperwork and take time to negotiate said fees. The extra time outweighs the measly few bucks collected by the landlord for the extra leasing fees.

Amit Magdieli at DC Property Rentals agrees, stating that, “The best leases are the ones where I don’t have to collect any additional fees from you.” He tells us that additional fees include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Late rent
  • Check cashing/check bounce fees
  • Move In/Out fees, especially if the tenant leaves early or moves in mid month
  • Pet damage fees
  • Cleaning fees
  • Sublet/Change of assignment fees

At DC Property Rentals, tenants should know that many of the additional leasing fees are charged for non-performance at some point in the lease agreement. This means that a tenant has somehow violated a point outlined in the lease. Tenants are always welcome to communicate with Amit Magdieli or any other property manager to find out if an action will violate the lease agreement before it happens. Avoiding surprises is the best way to avoid additional fees, and the tenant who asks questions is the tenant who is less likely to find surprise charges on their rental fees. Additionally, the landlord has additional methods to penalize those who break the lease, so recognizing that additional fees is the first barrier to community control is in the tenant’s best interest.

Tenant Actions to Help Avoid Additional Fees

Tenants can control additional fees by asking questions, as stated above. Additional actions taken by tenants to avoid further fees include:

  • Signing up for overdraft protection at the bank to avoid bounced checks
  • Signing up for overdraft protection at the bank to avoid bounced checks
  • Keep a signed copy of the process for collecting rent as well as a copy of when additional fees might be charged
  • Make sure all roommates agree on the lease terms and that they will adhere to the rules
  • Keep pets under control to ensure no extra pet fee repairs
  • Remain in the unit for the length of the lease
  • Repair any damage caused to the unit with personal funds if the damage was caused by a tenant or a guest. Communication with property management is the best way to make these repairs.
  • Communicate any damages found before move-in to the property manager immediately
  • Respect other tenants and keep living conditions, including noise, at an acceptable level

Avoiding additional fees is as easy as following the lease, reading the lease if there are any questions, obtaining and keeping a copy of situations which could cause additional fees, and asking questions if there is any doubt that a tenant’s actions would cause additional fees. Communication is key. Discussing future decisions, roommates, parties, pets and move-out plans with the property manager will always help tenants avoid those pesky additional charges and save everyone money overall.

About Amit Magdieli

Amit MagdieliAmit Magdieli is the founder of Magdieli Property Management LLC is a full service property and tenant care company operating for 15 years in Washington, DC.  He is a licensed real estate agent, member of GCAAR,  and member of Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

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