Tips on How to Get Some Help with Rent Payments

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Housing is the No. 1 monthly expense for most people. So, amid the spread of this novel coronavirus, rent payments may be difficult to come by. If you’re having trouble paying your rent — or fear you soon will be, Brian Carberry, Managing editor of Apartment Guide has some tips:

  1. Communicate with your landlord – be honest, open and upfront with them and don’t wait until your rent is due to spring your need for help.
  1. Ask if you can restructure your payments –

Present them directly with a plan based on your current needs and limitations.  Do this preferably by email or phone to maintain social distancing.

  1. Have empathy for your landlord-

Most landlords want to help you in this time of need, but they aren’t immune to the economy themselves. Avoid making demands since you are asking them for help.

What if your landlord can’t or won’t help?

  1. Apply for rental assistance
    1. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website offers links to a number of helpful resources – rental assistance
    2. The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and United Way may also be sources of rental support.
    3. If you or anyone in your household is a veteran, HUD and the U.S. Veterans Administration has programs that can help with rent.

2.     Take out a loan

If you have solid credit and can prove that despite the current crisis you’re a trusted recipient, you can turn to your bank and apply for a short-term loan.

If you own a small business you can apply for a Small Business Administration Disaster Loan to be used for business and personal expenses.

  1. Take advantage of the CARES Act – The $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed last month, is offering a cash payment to most every American.

Are you going to be evicted if you can’t pay?  Likely no….

  1. The CARES Act includes a freeze on evictions of tenants for non-payment in buildings financed by federally-backed mortgages
  2. For those not covered in the stimulus, most states and a number of individual municipalities have issued their own stays of eviction, many in place between one and three months.

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