Options to Consider When not Eligible to pay Rent for a Month
With the pandemic turning everything inside out globally, millions of people have lost their jobs. And with housing being the most expensive item in the entire budget of an average American, it has become difficult for many of late to make ends meet, let alone be able to pay rent with ease. However, there are options available in case a person is unable to support themselves for a month.
Administrations across the US are taking measures to support the people that are suffering economically due to the loss of jobs. Many cities like Somerville and Boston have legislated delays on evictions so that people do not end up homeless. Aside from that, non-profit organizations in several cities have gathered up a large sum of money to help those in need. The CARES Act discourages the eviction of tenants in federal housing.
Does a person get kicked out for not being able to pay rent for a month?
While this is something that people dread, on the contrary, the landowner does not immediately kick a person out for not being able to pay rent for a month. The first thing a landowner typically does is that they present the tenant with a written notice addressing the issue. The tenant can, in that case, come to an agreement with the landowner to combat the issue of paying their rent late by catching up payments. If the tenant still fails to compensate for the issue created, it is then that the landowner decides to take action to evict the tenant or take matters to court.
Options to consider when unable to pay rent
If you are unable to pay your rent due to tough financial situations, here are several options to consider so you can bide your time until you are earning enough again:
Evaluating your budget
Taking out time to evaluate your monthly expenditures could possibly give you more room to save up money for rent. If there is anything in excess that you can do without for a while, it can be paused for a while until you are financially sound again. This could mean not using your car and using public transport for a while, trying to cook at home as much as possible instead of ordering from food chains and restaurants, or anything of the like to cut back on expenses and save money for rent.
If the landowner agrees to do it, you can pay them in the form of installments, or even as late payments. In case you intend to pay them late regarding your current circumstances, pay them through check (with a receipt included), and send it to them through a certified mailing service as proof that you tried your best to make up for paying late if they happen to refuse the payments.
Discussing financial situation with landowner
Speak to your landowner about your financial situation. Depending on their disposition, they might agree to help you by letting you pay your rent late or pay them in installments. To avoid complications, have whatever is agreed on in written form. It is also plausible to ask your landowner to consider the security deposit you paid in the beginning before moving in, as rent until you are financially stable enough to replace it at a later date. You could also barter with your landowner, for example doing them a favor in exchange for them giving you freedom to pay your rent however possible.
Requesting legal help
If your landowner decides to disregard your pleas and threatens to evict you, you can seek help from an attorney who can guide you through your rights and what options are available to you. Many services can provide help regardless of whether you have enough money to pay for it or not. They usually provide people with cost-effective ways to represent yourself when in a state of disagreement with your landowner.
Checking lease for flexibilities
Check what is written in your lease to see if your landowner is flexible about rent payment and whether they have stated any options in case you are not able to pay rent on time. This helps to know where your landowner stands and how fast they are willing to take action against you when you do not (considering your circumstances) pay your month's rent.
Applying for relief
Applying for relief can also prove to be helpful as cities have developed programs to help the financially weak e.g. Boston has pledged 3 million dollars to help those in need. Non-profit organizations and churches have also stepped in to provide rent relief programs to help those having a hard time making ends meet. Besides these, credit card corporations have hardship programs, charity programs such as Modest Needs donate decent sums of money to offer financial support to people, people having national student loans have an option to put their monthly expenses to a temporary halt. Websites such as 211.org help by connecting people to charities that are local to their areas.
Payday loans (and their risks)
Another option that can be considered, but mindfully, as it comes with its own risks, is taking out loans. While taking out a small payday loan may seem like a sound idea, it can start a vicious cycle of you using loans repeatedly to cover the original one, causing you to be in major debt. There are, however, credit unions offering loans to people who do not earn a lot. They function under the "National Credit Union Foundation's REAL Solutions" program, their aim is help people that are not financially strong from falling into debt.
Sharing your rented property
If your landowner allows it, you can bring in another person to live with you and split expenses with them. This will not only help you but possibly help another person suffering from financial problems too. One possible downside to subleasing would be your privacy being compromised.