The lawsuit claims that the company’s late fees are illegal in every state in which Invitation Homes does business –
Leasing Lifestyle: Single-family rental giant Invitation Homes was hit with a potential class-action lawsuit in California on Friday over what the plaintiffs claim are excessive and illegal late fees charged to tenants who fall behind on rent.
According to the lawsuit, Invitation Homes charges a late fee of $95, even in cases when rent is only an hour late. In addition to those late fees, the lawsuit alleges that Invitation Homes stacks additional late fees of $95 or more on any accrued balance of late fees, even even if the tenant paid their most recent rent on time.
An Invitation spokesperson contacted by Curbed declined to comment on the pending litigation.
While the suit was filed in California, it claims that Invitation Homes’s fees violate the law in each of the 12 states in which the company does business.
“The penalty is illegal, and thus, void, because it is excessive and bears no relation to any actual damages incurred by [Invitation Homes] when rent or other fees are paid late,” the lawsuit reads. “Some people have been evicted purely as a result of this late rent penalty, and in particular, this penalty stacking practice.”
The suit claims in some cases, Invitation Homes doesn’t incur any actual damage, due to the fact that a slightly late payment doesn’t cause the company financial harm.
Jose Rivera, the plaintiff in the case, paid $2,699 per month in rent at one point, according to the lawsuit. According to the complaint, a $95 late payment would represent a 642 percent annual interest rate on Rivera’s rent payment, which the suit uses to paint late fees charged by Invitation Homes as “fee-gouging.”
JOSE RIVERA v. INVITATION HOMES, INC.