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Take These 5 Steps If You Can’t Pay Rent on Time

Concept of Paying Bills with a Tight BudgetCan’t pay rent on time this month? You’re not alone. Many tenants find themselves short on rent in these uncertain times due to layoffs and temporary or permanent cutbacks. If you are one of the people affected by the current crisis, you may be wondering what to do about your monthly rent payments.

Honest tenants who are temporarily experiencing fund shortages are not likely to be evicted by their landlords. Paying your rent a little late shouldn’t warrant an eviction straight away. Plus, many localities and states have put eviction moratoriums in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now we are going to delve deeper into what you should and shouldn’t do if you can’t pay your rent on time. Recommendation and tips from on what steps a renter can take to help avoid more significant problems in the future.

#1: Never Ignore the Problem

Never ignore issues related to rent payments. While not thinking about that responsibility in the hopes that it will go away is a natural reaction, it is also the quickest way to create further problems in your life. Your rent payment is likely to cover your landlord’s mortgage payments. As the bank won’t overlook your rental owner’s missed payments, he can’t afford to ignore yours. So take the first step and admit to yourself that this is a situation that requires decisive action.

#2: Understand Your Financial Situation

Take a good look at your current financial situation and determine the type and extent of possibilities you currently have. For instance, see if you have a tax refund waiting for you. Maybe you can use an early hardship withdrawal, a completely legal procedure, to prevent eviction by taking the money from your 401K.

If you haven’t lost your job but were instead laid off or have limited work hours, it might be possible to opt for a 401K loan. Just make sure that your employer’s chosen plan allows this to happen.

#3: Review Your Lease Agreement

Did you know that your lease agreement may contain hardship clauses? Not all contracts will have these clauses, but if they are there, you can use these for your benefit. Hardship clauses enable you to terminate your tenancy due to financial difficulties.

These clauses won’t allow you to skip payments. However, you may have the option to move out after finding a more affordable place to live. In some cases, there might be zero penalties involved. You have to review your lease and see if these clauses are there and what are their details.

#4: Check Rental Assistance Programs

See if you can get help from any of the rental assistance programs that may be available to you. These programs could be established on a federal, state, or local level. To learn about your opportunities, check with your local and state government websites.

#5: Negotiate with Your Landlord

It would be best if you always were honest with your landlord when it comes to financial issues and rent payment difficulties. Being upfront about your situation is one of the best ways to cut your risk of getting evicted significantly.

Try to see the situation from your landlord’s point of view. Evicting and finding new tenants is a tiresome process. It’s much easier to negotiate with you to find a solution that would make both sides happy.

Here are some ideas on how to negotiate with your landlord:

  • Offer to pay a part of your total rent amount on time, if possible. That sends a proactive and friendly signal to the landlord.
  • Ask your landlord whether it’s possible to pay a few extra days later. Do this in writing.
  • Make it known that this won’t happen again. Explain what exactly got you into the current situation and what steps you will take to prevent this from happening again.
  • Serve your landlord with a written document that states you’ll pay the full rent amount on by a fixed date. Choose a date that you are entirely sure you won’t miss.
  • Pay a late fee if your landlord has established such policies. However, if this is the first time, you can try and see whether the landlord agrees to overlook the fee this time.

Can’t Pay Rent on Time?

Life is full of unexpected things: every tenant can suddenly discover that they have difficulties paying rent for the next month. If you find yourself in this type of situation, consider the following approaches. And as always, RPM Lakeview would be happy to help you go through your options if you have further questions.

  • Understand your financial situation and try finding ways to pay the full amount
  • Negotiate with your landlord to find a middle ground that both sides can agree on
  • Don’t ignore the problem! Aim to seek solutions actively.
  • Review the terms of your lease agreement. Check if it contains hardship clauses.
  • Check with your state and local government’ websites for rental assistance programs

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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