WASHINGTON — Lawmakers in the District of Columbia have voted to ban landlords from charging exorbitant fees when tenants don’t pay their rent on time.

The bill from Democratic Council member Anita Bonds would regulate late fees in the city for the first time. It was approved unanimously on Tuesday and will be sent to Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser for her signature.

It would set 5 percent of a tenant’s monthly rent as the maximum late fee and define late rent as a payment that’s more than five days overdue. It also establishes fines for landlords who impose excessive fees.

Advocates told lawmakers that landlords’ practices vary widely across the District, putting elderly and low-income residents at risk of eviction for failing to pay fees.


This story has been corrected to note that the bill defines a late payment as five days overdue, instead of 10.