What to Do if You Are Unable to Pay Rent: The Options Explained

Several people have lost their jobs since the pandemic struck the world and are now unable to pay rent. If you are having a difficult time financially, you may need to get help right away instead of ignoring this debt.

Unfortunately, your landlord does have legal rights to evict you and leave you out in the open without any other options. However, do not panic yet because a late rent payment does not have to be disastrous.

This article has some advice on what you can do if you are going through a dire financial emergency and are short on money to pay your rent.

Check Your Lease

The first step is to go over your lease agreement. This will help you find out if you have a rent grace period and how much time you have left. A rental grace period is how long you have after the rent is due before your landlord can take legal action.

During this time, you will not face a penalty, but the usual grace period is only a few days, and this varies according to different states. If your rent is late, but you have already paid it within this grace period, then you should not worry about getting evicted.

Next time make sure that you make these payments on-time or even a little early so that you never have to get nervous at the last minute while dipping into your grace period.

Contact Your Landlord

If you are confident that you are unable to pay rent this month, you should be honest with your landlord and be upfront about your situation. The sooner you do this, the better it will be.

This is because if you have always made rent payments on time in the past, the landlord could generously give you a more extended grace period or waive any late fees that are mentioned in your lease agreement.

Your landlord may be sympathetic, knowing that there are several problems because of COVID-19. They can offer some helpful advice about when you can still pay the rent without any penalties. If they are being lenient, you should discuss a payment plan that works for both parties.

However, keep in mind that landlords need to pay their own mortgage repayments and may not delay your rent for too long. Therefore, it is necessary to communicate with them early so that your late rent payment does not have dire consequences for them.

If you are going to speak to your landlord about your financial struggles, you should do so in writing or give them a call. This is because it may be complicated right now to speak face-to-face in person due to social distancing.

You can also provide some documents about your loss of income or any other evidence that proves your financial emergency. Make sure to let them know when they can expect to receive your pending rent payments to plan their own expenses accordingly.

Consider a Temporary Loan

Being short on money is a stressful experience for many people because of the pandemic, so even friends and family may not be able to lend a hand. In case you cannot find someone else to help you with rent payments, short-term loan companies can help alleviate your financial struggles.

There are reputable institutions that offer a cash loan no credit. However, make sure that you seek trusted companies that provide transparent rates and fees without any hidden charges.

Even if you do not have the most perfect credit rating, they can still offer the loan through a fast application and quick approval. This is ideal if your landlord cannot give you any extra time, so you can secure funding in minutes.

Things to Avoid if You Are Unable to Pay Rent

If you have some money sitting in your account the next time before your rent is due, it does not hurt to pay this early to maintain a positive tenant-landlord relationship. Then it will be easier to negotiate with your landlord if you ever land on hard times again in the future.

They will be more willing to trust you and will appreciate you letting them know in advance if they should expect any delays in receiving payment. Avoid writing a check that will bounce. This will damage the trust you have with your landlord and will make it challenging to sign a lease later with them again.

They may also pass late fees and any other banking expenses if your check bounces, and that will only make matters worse. If you are short on money, be honest about your situation because you could be asked to provide evidence.

It is best to prevent more significant problems by being truthful and upfront so that you can investigate other ways of solving the problem more effectively.

You also have legal rights as a renter, and these should all be mentioned in your lease agreement. It is best to go over your tenant rights at the government’s Housing and Urban Development website.

All you need to do is click on the state you are in and seek legal assistance or contact the Attorney General’s Office if necessary.

Reach Out Before It Is Too Late

If you are unable to pay rent, the most important thing to do is tackle this issue as soon as possible. Delaying this matter will exacerbate the situation before it becomes a severe crisis where you could lose your home.

Give your landlord a call to see if they are willing to be a little flexible with your rent payments. Then reach out to a loan company that can offer you a bit of relief to make the most urgent payments immediately until you can pay them back later.

If you enjoyed reading this guide, check out more business and financial articles with the latest tips on our website.

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