If you’re renting a home, condo, or apartment, your landlord expects to be paid on time, every time. Unfortunately, there may be circumstances where you simply cannot pay your rent on time, but this can lead to eviction if you’re not careful.
No matter what your situation may be, it’s crucial to know what to do when you can’t pay rent on time so that you can avoid costly headaches.
Read on to discover a few helpful tips that may just save you when you’re in a financial pinch to prevent eviction or expensive court visits.
Give Your Landlord a Heads Up
While not all landlords are forgiving, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let them know if you think you’ll be late paying the rent. Whether you had to take some time off from work or you had an unexpected expense, let your landlord know that you could be late as soon as possible.
Not only is telling your landlord you might be late the right thing to do, but you might also just be surprised at their reaction. Depending on the circumstance, they could give you some leeway in terms of making your payment at a later date.
Being open and honest is the best policy when it comes to paying your rent. Always notify the landlord or property management company when you run into financial trouble. If you usually pay on time, they may make an exception if you’re only late once.
Ask About the Possibility of Partial Payments
If you don’t know what to do when you can’t pay rent, you might be able to make partial payments throughout the next month. The landlord might be willing to take partial payments as long as you pay the remainder in full by the first of the following month.
When you make a partial payment, your landlord is still legally allowed to charge you a late fee, so it’s important to keep that in mind. Most residential leases have a clause that states a specific late fee must be paid if the rent is not paid in full after a specific date. In some cases, your landlord could decide to waive the fee if they have the ability to do it, so it can’t hurt to ask.
If you’re allowed to make partial payments on your rent, try to get it in writing. This will protect you in case the landlord comes back later and declares that you were late or has another dispute with you.
If You Don’t Know What to Do When You Can’t Pay Rent, Revamp Your Budget
It might seem like a no-brainer, but you may need to make some adjustments to your spending if you’re going to be late paying your rent. Sit down and take a close look at your budget to find out where you can save some extra cash to make your rent payment in full.
Skip out on expensive trips to the coffee shop, and pack your lunch so you’re not spending your cashflow on things you don’t need. Even if it means you have to miss out on a happy hour visit with friends or going out to dinner on weekends, it’s worth it to have that cash in your bank account so you can pay the rent on time.
If you find that it’s more difficult to pay your rent on time every month, it’s likely time that you need to make some serious changes. If the rent is too much for you to pay in full, you might need to move and downsize to a less expensive place.
Everyone should have a budget, but it’s even more important when you’re responsible for paying things like rent. Take the time to really look at your income versus what you’re spending and you might just be surprised at where you can save or cut.
Eliminate unnecessary services like your cable, Spotify, or Netflix subscription. If you go to the gym and pay a monthly fee, cancel it and start walking or working out at home. Get creative and find ways to revamp your budget so that your rent payment is the first priority on your list.
Consider a Roommate
You might absolutely adore your three-bedroom apartment, but you’re having trouble making the rent payments on your own. If you love your place and have the extra space, a roommate could be the perfect solution.
Ask some of your friends if they’d consider moving in with you, or you can post a call for a roommate online. Just make sure that your landlord will allow an extra person or two to live there and make sure that they have a stable job and will sign a lease so they’re all responsible for their share.
A roommate could literally cut your rental costs in half or even by a third depending on how many you have. While you might love living alone, sometimes, you need to make the sacrifice in order to make sure you have a roof over your head.
Talk to people you trust when you’re looking for a roommate. With some effort and a bit of time, you should be able to find someone who can help you pay the rent while being agreeable and pleasant to live with.
Ask for Help or Get a Loan
Everyone runs into financial trouble now and then, so you shouldn’t be ashamed if you need to ask for help paying your rent. If you’re close to your family, it might be best to approach them first about some financial help. Your family might be able to give you all or some of your rent until you can repay them.
When you’re in a pinch, asking for help is the best way to get the money you need quickly. Aside from talking to family members or close friends, you can also adjust other obligations to free up money for your rent. For example, talk to your student loan provider and see if they can defer your payments.
Some credit card companies offer hardship programs that allow you to get a lower monthly payment. Consider this option if you have a lot of credit card debt and lower payments would make a difference in your disposable income or cashflow.
Another option you can try to help get the funds for rent is to apply for a personal loan. If you have good credit, many credit unions and banks offer personal loans at a reasonable interest rate.
If a personal loan is out of the question, a payday loan can be another good solution. These loans have a very high interest rate but they can also give you the money you need quickly when you’re in a serious pinch. Just make sure you repay these types of loans as soon as possible to avoid expensive fees.
Local charities may also be available that can offer you rent assistance. Talk to your local government or go online to see what kinds of programs you may qualify for. Explore all of your options when it comes to asking for help, and you might be surprised at what’s available.
Earn More Money
It sounds simple, but earning more money is the easiest way to get the extra cash you need to be able to pay your rent on time. You can do this one of several ways and each one will give you a higher income and peace of mind.
To get some extra cash, consider starting a side hustle when you’re not working regular hours. This can be anything from driving for Uber to delivering groceries or walking the local neighborhood dogs.
If your job allows it, ask if you can work overtime. Even just a few hours at a higher rate can really add up at the end of the month, and it might help you make up the difference if you’re short on rent.
Another way to get extra cash is to sell some items you don’t need. Look for community yard sales where you can set up a table or post your things and sell them online. Websites like eBay or apps like Mercari are excellent resources to help you earn extra cash by selling things you don’t want or need.
No matter how you choose to earn extra money, it will give you the funds you need to pay the rent without having to ask for help or look for a roommate. It’s an excellent way to be able to pay your rent on time when you’re in a tough spot.
Don’t Neglect Your Rent
Now that you know what to do when you can’t pay rent, you can be prepared whenever you run into financial trouble. whether you need to apply for a personal loan or consider getting a roommate, there are plenty of options available that can help you avoid eviction.
Don’t be afraid to work extra hours or sell items you don’t need if you have to have extra cash. All of these tips can help you ensure that you’ll be able to pay your landlord on time, every time.
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