Can’t Pay Rent? Don’t Panic, You’ve Got Options
(ReliableNews.org) – There are many events in a person’s life that may lead to them having problems keeping a roof over their heads. Luckily, those who rent have options available for assistance. Saving money on other expenses and saving to pay for housing are good ways to start. If that won’t work, there’s assistance from government agencies and other resources renters can turn to in times of need. All they have to do is know where to look, see if they qualify and apply. However, before accessing the resources, it’s important to assess one’s current rental situation and save the government assistance as a last resort.
Options to Consider
The first thing to do is pull out your lease and see what it says about what happens if the renter can’t make payments. If you have to seek legal assistance to analyze and interpret the paperwork, free legal resources are available. Next, talk to the landlord to see if there’s any flexibility to make payments for a short term or willingness on their part to lower the rent. Waiving late fees, delaying eviction, and considering partial payments would also be a big help in buying time. You won’t know unless you ask.
If the lease allows, and you have the space, consider adding a roommate to cut the rent in half for the time being or ask for assistance from family or friends to make ends meet during hard times. Another consideration is simply moving out and into a cheaper apartment or back with family until your finances improve. Talk with the landlord and see if you can get you out of the lease without any legal issues or if eviction proceedings are really necessary. Having an eviction in your rental history will make it difficult to rent in the future.
Those struggling to pay rent likely have problems paying other bills as well, so think about using social programs like food stamps to free up money. That could temporarily give you extra bucks to shift into the rent budget.
Reaching Out for Help
Once you’ve exhausted all other options, it might be time to turn to local programs for help. Dialing 211 will give you rental assistance information in your area. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also has programs to help renters. There you can access information about public housing, Section 8 vouchers, local renting resources, and apartment searches. To contact your local Public Housing Agency, click the link to navigate to your state of residence. The agency also has information about rental assistance through the USDA for those in rural areas.
A few other places that provide assistance are the Salvation Army, Modest Needs, and other charities that offer grants to those in need.
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