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When (and How) to Fine a Non-Compliant Renter

New Brunswick Renter Looking at a Lease Violation NoticeIt’s not agreeable; there are times when renters violate the terms of their lease in ways that result in a fine. There are a variety of causes why a renter may risk being fined and several violations that could entail a fine. However, regardless of the case, fining for renter violations is a delicate business that is easy to get wrong. It should only be done after all other methods of communication have been exhausted and the renter fails to comply with the lease agreement. Let’s talk about some typical reasons a New Brunswick property manager may fine a renter, best practices for doing so, and some important pitfalls to avoid.

When a Renter Violates the Lease

One of the most common reasons for fining a renter is after they’ve violated the terms of their lease agreement. This could be anything, but typically includes:

  • Late rent
  • Unauthorized pet
  • Unauthorized occupant
  • Unauthorized vehicle
  • Noise violation
  • Failure to provide an updated or renewed insurance policy
  • Property damage caused by renter negligence

Handling lease violations can be tricky because you want to ensure that the fine is fair and proportional to the offense. It’s important to have clear language in your lease about what will result in a fine and how much those fines will be. Penalties should also be consistently enforced for all renters, not just selectively applied.

Best Practices for Fining a Renter

After thoroughly reviewing your lease terms to confirm that your renter has violated them, you must first collect evidence of the lease violation. This can be performed through pictures, written statements from other renters or witnesses, and documentation of any previous communication with the renter about the breach.

After you have collected evidence, the next step is to issue a warning to the renter and give them a chance to change their behavior. The only exception is late rent; late fees or fines related to late rent payments can frequently be applied without warning.

If the renter disobeys, a fine can be enforced according to the terms of the lease agreement. Utilize official communication methods like a certified letter or email to inform the renter of the fine and how it will be collected. You need to thoroughly document all communication and actions taken if the problem escalates and legal action must be pursued.

Pitfalls to Avoid

It’s necessary to understand that fining a renter should never be used as a form of retaliation or harassment. Fines should only be levied when they are fair and required to enforce the lease terms.

Fines should also be consistent – not arbitrarily allotting them to particular renters but not others. This can develop a hostile living environment and lead to possible legal troubles. Overall, fines should only be imposed as a last resort to confirm the safety and well-being of all renters and the New Brunswick property itself.

Moreover, it’s recommended to follow all state and local laws regarding rent increases, late fees, and other rental regulations. Failing to do so can have unfavorable legal consequences.

Fining renters should never be the first resort, but it is occasionally required to guarantee a safe and compliant living environment for all renters. By being aware of the reasons and best practices for fining a renter and avoiding potential pitfalls, you can properly manage lease violations and maintain a positive relationship with your renters.


Working with renters who violate their leases can be challenging and time-consuming. Instead of going it alone, try calling in the experts at Real Property Management All-Star to seek advice! We offer a full range of property management services, freeing you from the irritating business of fining renters. To learn more, contact us online.

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