f a tenant pays rent late, you should charge a late fee. Otherwise, there is no real penalty for not paying the rent on time and they could make a habit of it. Check your local landlord tenant laws. A few states do not allow you to charge a late fee and some will set a limit as to the maximum amount you can charge as a late fee. A $50 charge for a late rental payment is sufficient for a $1000 a month rental. The amount of the late fee should vary based on the price of the rental. For someone paying $5,000 a month to rent an apartment, a $50 late charge will not seem like much. In this case, something more in the $250 range would be sufficient. The fact that you will charge a fee for late payment and the amount of the late fee should clearly be spelled out in the lease agreement. You must also state that the late fee will be collected at the same time the late rent is paid.