What to Do If You Can’t Pay Your Rent

What to Do If You Can't Pay Your Rent

Behind On Rent? Check Out These Pro Tips Before You Do Anything Else

(ReliableNews.org) – With out-of-control inflation digging into the financial resources of most Americans, it’s difficult for many people to make ends meet. While all obligations are important to pay, food and rent are top priorities for everyone. The coronavirus pandemic has financially devastated many families across the nation, so what do people do if they can’t pay the rent to keep a roof over their heads? Luckily, there are resources available to help and ways to avoid or delay eviction.

Rainy Day Funds

Although the eviction moratorium ended in August 2021, stimulus money made its way into the pockets of most Americans throughout the pandemic. Many citizens saved or invested those funds for a rainy day. If the rent money runs dry, it’s time to tap into emergency reserves to satisfy the landlord and buy a little time to increase income streams. Job openings continue to rise across the United States in many sectors, so finding employment or making a lateral move for more money could be an option.

Those who used the stimulus money to pay current bills without the option to save still have ways to help pay the rent. It might also be good to reach out to family members for assistance or find unnecessary expenses to eliminate and move those funds toward the rent.

Look Toward the State

The federal government may not have an eviction moratorium, but a handful of states still have policies in place to help citizens temporarily stay put. In addition, every state has an Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program broken down by county or territory. Renters should search for a nearby program and apply as soon as possible because some areas have a waitlist for applicants. If there aren’t any programs nearby, call the local housing authority or 211 for help.

There are also many community resources all over the country from more than 600 groups that may be able to offer a way to pay the rent and avoid eviction.

Open Lines of Communication

Sometimes the simplest answer to a problem is an honest discussion. Talking directly to property landlords and telling them about any financial struggles may be a solution. Opening the lines of communication could allow the renter and landlord to work out a deal that benefits both parties. Perhaps the property owner or manager can give the renter more time to gather funds or allow them to pay less for a set period of time. Be sure to get any new agreement in writing to protect the renter and the landlord.

Being creative about solutions and tapping into the available resources could save many struggling families from losing their homes during this trying time.

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