A landlord may not collect from a tenant a late fee for failing to pay any portion of the tenant’s rent unless:
notice of the fee is included in a written lease;
the fee is reasonable; and
any portion of the tenant’s rent has remained unpaid two full days after the date the rent was originally due.
For purposes of this section, a late fee is considered reasonable if:
the late fee is not more than:
12 percent of the amount of rent for the rental period under the lease for a dwelling located in a structure that contains not more than four dwelling units; or
10 percent of the amount of rent for the rental period under the lease for a dwelling located in a structure that contains more than four dwelling units; or
the late fee is more than the applicable amount under Subdivision (1), but not more than uncertain damages to the landlord related to the late payment of rent, including direct or indirect expenses, direct or indirect costs, or overhead associated with the collection of late payment.
A late fee under this section may include an initial fee and a daily fee for each day any portion of the tenant’s rent continues to remain unpaid, and the combined fees are considered a single late fee for purposes of this section.
A landlord who violates this section is liable to the tenant for an amount equal to the sum of $100, three times the amount of the late fee collected in violation of this section, and the tenant’s reasonable attorney’s fees.
A provision of a lease that purports to waive a right or exempt a party from a liability or duty under this section is void.
This section relates only to a fee, charge, or other sum of money required to be paid under the lease if rent is not paid as provided by Subsection (a)(3), and does not affect the landlord’s right to terminate the lease or take other action permitted by the lease or other law. Payment of the fee, charge, or other sum of money by a tenant does not waive the right or remedies provided by this section.Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 917 (H.B. 3101), Sec. 3, eff. January 1, 2008.Amended by:Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1268 (H.B. 1109), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 629 (S.B. 1414), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.