Skip to Content

How Much Should You Fine Renters for Lease Violations

Chesterfield Renter Looking at a Lease Violation NoticeAs a Chesterfield rental property owner, establishing definite and clear expectations for your renter is critical. Part of doing so is assuring particular consequences for violating specific terms in your lease. One procedure to encourage renters to act in accordance with their lease agreement is to issue fines for violations. But however, are such fines or penalties legal? And how much should the fines be? Are there limits on the amount you can fine a renter? Let’s look more closely at these and connected questions.

Are fines or penalties legal?

Generally speaking, yes. But on the other hand, fines and penalties have to be specifically detailed in your lease agreement before you can actually charge them. If it’s not seen in the lease, you cannot charge extra fees. As long as your lease agreement constitutes language specifying the penalties and the violations they apply to, you are within your rights to issue fines.

How much should a fine or penalty be?

When distinguishing the correct fine amounts, take into account the severity of the violation and the impact it has on you as the Chesterfield property manager. It’s imperative to call to mind that fines should not be excessive or unreasonably harsh. If the penalty you charge is over and above the incurred damages, the longshots are that it will be seen as unenforceable, and you, in all likelihood, won’t win your case in court.

Another thought to consider is your ability to collect the charges from your renter. Fining a renter should only be used as a last resort owing to the fact it carries such a huge risk of permanently wrecking any nice relations you may have with them. If you think you have no other choice, then setting reasonable fine amounts will develop your chances of definitely getting it. Renters are a lot more likely to refuse to pay excessive fines or to sue you to avoid paying them. It’s essential to weigh the potential benefit of collecting a fine against the consequences, such as particularly losing a renter or facing a legal dispute.

Are there limits on the amount you can charge?

It’s crucial to also take careful note that some states do have limits on how much can be charged for certain violations. For example, states like Delaware, Nevada, and Washington, D.C. limit late rent payment fees to 5% of the monthly rent amount. Other states have regulations that state the late fee must be “reasonable” and that it must be specifically detailed and mentioned in the lease.

Various states may have other limitations relating to fines for lease violations. Hence, it’s imperative to determine state and local laws in preparation for setting fine amounts in your lease agreement. It is further a right idea to consult a lawyer or local rental market expert prior to setting fine amounts in your lease agreement.


In conclusion, fines and penalties for lease violations can be effective in urging renters to faithfully abide by their agreements. Nevertheless, it’s relevant to be certain that any fines or penalties you charge are legal, decent, and in line with state and local laws.


Real Property Management Vesta has learned and proficient experience with all things property management, including lease agreements and tenant relations. If you need an assessment regarding a lease agreement or any other matter involving your rental property, contact us online to see what we can do for you.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details