Rent question (grace period falls on holiday) Oregon
June 22, 2014 11:12 AM   Subscribe

My friend rents an apartment. According to the lease he signed there is a 4 day grace period before his rent is considered late. (He sometimes pays on the 4th of the month because of when he is paid). This month the grace period involves the July 4 holiday.

The Apt Manager office has sent out a memo that rent is due no later than July 3, because the holiday (July 4) falls on a Friday. My friend told me that he will probably be able to do this by paying from savings...but it is just an interesting question about whether or not the Manager is incorrect in demanding payment before the grace period is over.

I tried googling about grace periods and late fees and wasn't able to find much aside from the fact a late fee is not applied in Oregon until after the 4th day.

Common sense tells me and my friend that in this case the rent would not really be enforceably late until the next business day, July 7, but we are not 100% sure of that. Are we right or wrong? Just curious (and wanting to edifythe office if we are right). Thank you!
posted by naplesyellow to Law & Government (18 answers total)
Does the lease actually say "4 day grace period", or something like "rent is late if paid on the 5th of the month."

I'm in Portland, OR and my lease says the latter. Never had an issue with any weekends/holidays.
posted by paulcole at 11:31 AM on June 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

You can call: Renters Rights Hotline - 503.288.0130 - Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 1-5pm, and Tuesdays 6-8pm

This is from the website of the Oregon Community Alliance of Tenants.
posted by wryly at 11:34 AM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think the more appropriate question is how the landlord is supposed to receive the rent payment on the 4th of July. If your friend mails the rent payment, it won't be delivered. If your friend attempts to hand-deliver the rent payment, there won't be anyone there. I don't really know of any way to deliver a rent payment on a day effectively every business is closed.

Do note that the landlord can attempt to charge a late fee regardless of the law. The question isn't really what the law requires, it's whether or not the landlord would attempt to charge a late fee to your friend and then secondarily whether your friend is willing to go to court over the matter (even if you are in the right, it'll be a pain). Although this has nothing to do with the law, I would pay the rent on the 3rd just to avoid that.
posted by saeculorum at 11:40 AM on June 22, 2014

i've had apartment managers open for like 30 minutes on the holiday just to mark down the late payers - they had no drop box so you either had to hand it to them or mail it to them. they wouldn't even remind people to pay a day early, they'd just collect the late fees for people who didn't remember and had to hand their rent over on the 5th. i've never had an apartment manager count business days. at places with drop boxes if it was there before they opened on the 5th they'd accept it.
posted by nadawi at 11:46 AM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's no way to answer this question without knowing exactly what your friend's lease says. Can you find out?
posted by mediareport at 11:49 AM on June 22, 2014

mediareport, I will find out. thanks
posted by naplesyellow at 11:58 AM on June 22, 2014

If your friend can possibly pony up the money on the third, he should just do that. The expense and pain in the ass of trying to fight a late fee is not worth it, and if your friend likes where they live and would like to renew their lease, this sort of thing will not build good will toward that.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 12:55 PM on June 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Does this have something to do with your friend getting paid on that Friday and he's worried about not having enough cash on hand on the 3rd to make the payment?

He might want to see if he actually gets paid a day early, I've worked for some places that have direct deposit and actually send the funds a day early because that actual payday is a bank holiday.

How about if he gives the landlord a check at 5:01pm on the 3rd? The banks won't be able to clear it until the 5th.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:23 PM on June 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

What about paying on the 3rd and postmarking the check for the 4th? or whichever date payday is?
posted by eatcake at 1:44 PM on June 22, 2014

There are two questions here: what the lease provides, and what Oregon landlord/tenant law permits. One needn't know the former to consider the latter. I would assume that the lease simply takes advantage of this provision of Oregon law.

I am not an Oregon lawyer, but those jurisdictions with which I am familiar would reckon a date on which something is due to be delayed, not accelerated, when it falls on a holiday, and I would assume the grace period here -- built on a statutory foundation -- would behave likewise. Something like that is indicated by this provision, but I have not researched to see if it would be applicable to the relevant provision or lease.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 1:44 PM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

What about paying on the 3rd and postmarking the check for the 4th? or whichever date payday is?

Banks don't honor postdating in the US. They will cash it when they get it, not when it's dated.

I'd have your friend see if they're paid early, as suggested above. It's commonly done if payday falls on a holiday.
posted by winna at 1:46 PM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Banks don't honor postdating in the US. They will cash it when they get it, not when it's dated.

Sorry, my mistake. Shows you how long it's been since I wrote a physical check. Disregard my earlier advice.
posted by eatcake at 1:55 PM on June 22, 2014

When I pay my rent, it usually takes about a week for the check to get deposited and clear YMMV. I do tend to be one of the first in the building to turn in my check so it could be because they take all the checks to the bank together after the last person pays.

I also agree with the previous posters about direct deposit. When the pay day falls on a weekend or holiday, the pay day changes to the last banking day.

It might be worth it for your friend to talk to the management about special arrangements. My former roommate did this because she was paid once a month on the 5th. When we were living together, I paid and then she paid me but when she lived on her own she had an arrangement with the manager.
posted by amapolaroja at 3:30 PM on June 22, 2014

He writes a check on July 3. Even if the landlord's agent deposits it right away, it will take a day or two to be debited to his account.

This "float period" has been eroded by systems that provide for immediate deposit based on a scanned copy of the physical check, but it still may work.

It would be better if he could rearrange things so that he does not have to rely on the grace period at all. It really should be his emergency backup, not his regular reliance.
posted by megatherium at 4:54 PM on June 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

i'm guessing the same procedure that is in place when the 4th day falls on sunday is in place for the 4th of july. your friend should be fine.
posted by lester at 8:34 PM on June 22, 2014

Mail it certified mail on the evening of the 3rd. Proof that he instituted payment prior to the deadline, and the check won't get cashed until the 5th, 6th, or maybe even the 7th.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:48 PM on June 22, 2014

The landlord has sent out a written memo that, because of the holiday, July's grace period ends on the 3rd: pay the rent by the 3rd, don't mess around with postdating or mailing at 5:01pm or anything else.

Look, the rent is ACTUALLY due on the 1st of the month: paying on the 3rd (or 4th) is, technically, already paying late --- they're just not yet charging a late fee.
posted by easily confused at 4:17 AM on June 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

I am a landlord, but not in Oregon, and I take my rent in over the internet, so this is not an issue for me.

But as I understand it, rent is actually due on the 1st. Your rent is *late* after that, it's just that you are not being assessed a late fee. (Your landlord may still be able to report you as renters who consistently pay rent late.) In addition, the grace period is there so that you can mail your check out on the first and it can arrive by the 3rd or the 4th or whatever. That *is* the allowance you get for the post being slow or for there being a Sunday or a holiday or any other unplanned-for thing. It is NOT for you to plan to send out the check that late.

I would make arrangements to drop the check off on the 3rd.
posted by ethidda at 10:51 AM on June 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

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