Sample Letter: Disputing a Late Fee


Dear (Landlord's Name),

I am writing this letter concerning the late fee of $XXX that I was charged last month.  This fee is too high.  For a late fee to be legal under Michigan law, it is supposed to compensate for the actual damages suffered by the landlord because the rent is late.

A late fee of $XXX is unacceptable because it is far beyond any loss that you may have suffered.  That amount is more like a penalty to me (us). Penalties are illegal in all contracts in the State of Michigan and will not stand up in a court of law.  A lesser amount may be acceptable, but this is not.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss this matter further.


(Name of Tenant)

For more information on writing sample letters to resolve problems with your landlord you can view other articles on this site: Sample Letter 1: Withholding Rent, Sample Letter 2: Demanding Repairs, Sample Letter 3: Demanding Return of Security Deposit, Sample Letter 5: Disputing Deductions From Security Deposit, and Sample Letter 6: Negotiating A Rent Reduction as Compensation

To learn more about housing rights in Michigan and where to get help:    

Consult the website for local housing resources and tenant counseling services. 

Consult the website for legal education articles and local service information.

If you received court papers or otherwise need free or low cost legal advice:

This article appears courtesy of the Michigan Tenants Counseling Program.