The laws in New York are pretty cut and dry about how much your landlord can charge you for paying rent behind schedule. Late fees can’t be more than $50 or 5% of your monthly rent, whichever is less. (You really only need to calculate what 5% would be if your rent is under $1,000 per month—otherwise, your late fees are always capped at $50.) These laws apply anywhere in the state, from New York City to Albany.
But none of this matters if your lease doesn’t explicitly mention a late fee. Your landlord can only charge a fee for late rent if it’s spelled out in a written lease agreement that was signed by both of you. Otherwise, it’s illegal under New York law.
One more thing: at minimum, landlords in New York have to give you a five-day grace period before charging a late fee. It could be longer, depending on what your lease says.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.