Paying Your Rent During the Pandemic
Millions of renters across the US, Germany, Australia, UK, and Canada are concerned about their ability to keep paying rent amidst unemployment or reduced earnings. It’s a frightening situation for tenants and not your fault.
Although some tenants might not consider landlord’s own plight during the recession, it’s important for renters to make their rent payments on time. If unable, you are wise to speak with your landlord and work something out.
Protecting Your Future with Good Decisions
The importance of keeping positive thoughts has never been more paramount. Some tenants are protesting rents but not paying yours can send you on a harmful tangent. There is always hope for renters who stay positive, keep an open mind, manage money professionally, and work with their landlords. Landlords want a happy resolution.
Your first action, if you haven’t already is to checkout the PPP program, stimulus checks, and other grants you might qualify for. If you haven’t completed your tax returns for previous years, you can fill out a simplified tax return, so you’ll be able to get your stimulus check.
84% of Renters Paying Their Rent Nationally
The Rent Payment Tracker from NMHC shows slightly fewer renters (-12%) made their April rent payments. 84% of renters were paying their rent up to April 12, 2020. This is up slightly from one week ago.
In fact the new CARES ACT provides rent payment assistance for tenants and business loans to landlords and property managers.
Landlords Face Increasing Pressure Too
And, as the Corona Virus shutdown continues amid the US pandemic, landlords are growing increasingly concerned about being able to pay their mortgages. An additional worry over a surge in homeless people is increasing calls for renter protections.
While most tenants enjoy some rent and eviction delays under the imposed new rules, landlords, retail companies, local businesses, and real estate investment companies may not have any such protection at all. Concerns about rent default and mortgage default are growing.
Manage Your Money and Responsibilities Professionally
It’s a difficult situation for everyone. The best way to handle this emergency is to manage your money very well and talk with your landlord about how to pay some rent. Don’t think they won’t be helpful. They want to get through this as badly as you and keep you under lease.
“The only thing we can do is talk to the landlord to wait for us. It’s stressful. We’re thinking how we’re going to manage getting money but we know there’s no solution right now.” — from news story on Chicago’s WGN 9 TV.
Despite landlord’s troubles, tenants must hang on during this unprecedented period. It’s likely new rules will be announced, given the duration of this pandemic is beyond what most experts forecast. Tenants will experience rent payment problems and landlords will be scrambling to keep their businesses afloat.
Talk with Your Landlord
It’s important for you to speak with your landlord to understand their expectations and then if they can help.
“We’re taking it on a case by case basis. As people reach out to us proactively and let us know, ‘Hey, I was laid off or I’m out of work temporarily.’ We’re just chatting with them, getting some details about their situation and then we’re talking to the property owners.” from property manager news story on https://www.nbc4i.com/
Tenants Need to Be Resourceful
Tenants do need to be resourceful too. Besides eviction, you could suffer a negative background check and credit related problems later. There are financial aid programs available, unique to each state and country you live in. Definitely investigate them today. And reorganizing funds to keep paying rent for the next 6 months is wise.
Given how many homeless people there are, we know this housing crisis just got a lot worse. Your rental apartment or home is the most important thing in your life right now. Gathering your funds to pay your rent is vital to keep the real estate industry from collapsing too. Federal governments can and will do a lot, but they have limits.
One landlord has offered to discount rent, to help tenants and probably to keep cash flow positive.
It’s important to talk with your landlord now if you’re experiencing difficulty. Landlords likely have complete control over whether you will be evicted at some point if you’ve lost your job. Keep it positive with them.
Tips to Keep Paying Rent
Protecting yourself with rent payment means controlling your finances, accessing any resources, and speaking with your landlord. Cover these 8 items:
- reorganize your finances immediately to prioritize your rent
- minimize all of your spending to gather as much future rent as you can
- remember, a rent delay still means you must pay the rent owed in 2 or 3 months (keep that money aside)
- ensure you’re collecting employment insurance if you qualify
- apply for and collect any state or Federal payments to individuals in your country (tenants are still encouraged to make partial payments)
- talk with your landlord about how to get through the next 3 to 6 months (hear their side of it too)
- don’t avoid your landlord when you can’t pay (they don’t know what’s happening to you)
- use the landlord’s online rent payment application if they have one, to ease their workload (landlord’s will be very busy doing their own financial management)
By being realistic and responsive to your landlord, you might find a way to get through this next 6 months of financial stress.
Keep yourself in an optimistic frame of mind because all of this will pass. In 6 months, you’ll be over this. Life is not always fair, and we hit these big bumps in the road. You’ll be okay. Keep the faith because we’ll get through this and find ourselves with a new outlook on the importance of housing and why more affordable housing is needed.
Hopefully, politicians will act in the post Corona Virus era to begin building more rental housing and helping to recover the economy.
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