Alternative Hosusing Solutions is a company that subleases properties to people who for whatever reason is able to directly rent themselves.
In May 2004 I signed a 1 year lease agreement, the rent was $851 and if you are late after the 5th of the month additional court cost and filing fees will be assessed. About 2 months after I moved in I get a letter from the company saying that they will being to charge a $200 deferred collection fee to those persons who pay there rent late.
Because of an emeregeny the next month I was late paying my rent. They charged me the $851 for the rent, $42.55 for late fees, $50 in filing fees and $200 deferred collection cost, totaling $1143.55. Before I could pay it they took me to landlord-tenant court. However on the court document it only had that I owed the past due rent, filing fees and late fees,total $943.55 There was never any mention to the court about a $200 deferred collection cost.
I have contacted legal aid and as a result I am pursuing my legal options against the company now because they are saying the I owe them approx. $600 or more in "deferred collection cost". According the the Prince George's County Landlord and Tenant Code, Subtitle 13 Section 13-158,"...tenant cannot be required to pay any charges other than rent, court filing fees and court-awarded cost. Landlord is entitled to recover only cost and/or filing fees actually incurred..."
This company uses an attorney, Mr. Gray, today I faxed a letter asking for the fees being assesed to me, along with the court case number and a copy of the complain form filed against me. When I sought legal advice I was told that it is probable the reason the company never put the addition $200 on the complain to the court is because the know that it is illegal.
Alternative Housing Solutions is a very good program for people who have had a hard time renting but charging people this extra $200 is just wrong and from the looks of it illegal. I'm positive this notice was sent out all of there clients. I'm sure others have been late. Just think of all the extra "under the table" money they are getting from tenants. If it's illegal it needs to be stopped and anyone who paid this fee should be refunded.
Washington, District of Columbia