Late Rent Laws and Grace Periods

Last Updated: September 5, 2023 by Ashley Porter

In every state, rent is considered late the day after it is due. However, state laws vary as to when late fees can be charged and eviction notices served.

When Can a Landlord Charge a Late Fee?

Landlords in most states are allowed to charge a late fee the day after rent is due. However, landlords in 16 states are required to give tenants a grace period before charging a late fee.


in Texas, where the law requires a 2-day grace period, a late fee cannot be charged until rent is three days past due and not paid in full. If rent is due on the 1st of the month, tenants have until the end of the 3rd to pay before they can be legally charged a late fee.

State Required Grace Period for Late Fees
Arizona 5 days (mobile homes)
None (other housing types)
Colorado 7 days
Connecticut 4 days (week-to-week lease agreements)
9 days (all other lease agreements)
Delaware 5 days (except the grace period is 8 days if rent can’t be paid in person within the same county as the residence)
Maine 15 days
Massachusetts 30 days
Nevada None (week-to-week lease agreements)
3 days (all other lease agreements)
New Jersey 5 business days (certain senior tenants)
None (other tenants)
New York 5 days
North Carolina 5 days
Oregon 4 days
Tennessee 5 days (if 6th day is a Sunday or holiday, due date is the next business day)
Texas 2 days
Virginia None (with written lease agreement)
5 days (if there is no written lease agreement)
Washington 5 days
Washington D.C. 5 days

Landlords should check their local laws which may differ from the state requirement. For example, California does not require a grace period, but West Hollywood Municipal Code requires a 5-day grace period before landlords can charge a late fee.

When Can Landlords Report Late Rent to the Credit Bureaus?

By federal law, landlords are required to wait at least 30 days before reporting late rent to the credit bureaus.

When Can a Landlord Begin the Eviction Process?

In most states, landlords can begin the eviction process for non-payment the day after rent is due. However, in seven states, landlords are required to give a grace period before the eviction process can be started.


The eviction process generally takes 14 to 60 days, during which time tenants can pay the rent owed and forestall the eviction process.

State Grace Period Before Eviction Notice
Arkansas 5 days
Connecticut 4 days (week-to-week lease agreement)
9 days (all other lease agreements)
Maine 7 days
New Jersey 5 business days (certain senior tenants)
None (other tenants)
New York 5 days
Oregon 4 days
Rhode Island 15 days