While some of us might be benefiting from the whole work from home situation due to coronavirus, it can become a cause of great panic for some. From budget cuts to being out of a job, any scenario that affects your income can also affect your living situation.
With arising difficulties in making and paying rent, and even fearing eviction, there’s a lot of doubt and panic that surrounds renters in this pandemic stricken era.
Some of us might be barely making it, and some of us might not be making it at all. And even if you’re actively looking out for another job, applying, and interviewing, the job conversion might end up taking more time than we’d like.
Which brings us to a very crucial question: What should you do if you’re unable to pay rent due to coronavirus?
We’ve put in the research and have gathered some things you should do if a situation like this is taking over. One of the most important things that we’d like you to remember is NOT to lose hope.
Here are some things you should look into if you’re on the verge of facing a housing related crisis:
1. Research your state’s eviction protection programs
Things look grim with the CARES Act that applies only to a few properties regarding rent, and the act itself expiring. But you need to know where your state is with regard to the impact on rent due to coronavirus.
Find out whether your state is renewing the ban on evictions or not. If your state is not doing anything to help and you fear financial delinquency, get in touch with a lawyer for free with Legal Aid and understand your rights and what course of action would be best for you if you’re unemployed and can’t pay rent.
2. Negotiate with your landlord
The best thing for you would be if your landlord understood your position and is willing to make a compromise in terms of rent. We’ve come across both types of landlords in the news: the ones who have foregone any rent from their renters until they manage to find a source of income, and those who are staying rigid when it comes to rent, or inflicting more unreasonable terms concerning any stimulus check or aid you might be receiving if you’re unemployed (if any).
While you should try your best to convince your landlord to agree, don’t give in to unreasonable demands.
3. Suggest restructuring rent payments till things get better
If you’ve been a good renter and have always paid the rent on time, the chances are that your landlord will understand. Try speaking honestly with your landlord about your situation and inform them of the measures you’re taking to look into job opportunities and how long you expect to take to get up back on your feet again.
After the conversation, if your landlord agrees to help you out, make sure you put it all on paper with signatures, so there’s no chance of them retracting from their word in the future.
3. Reach out to local aid
Fortunately enough, some organizations are actively working to help people who face the risk of eviction or homelessness due to coronavirus. Reach out to your state’s housing organizations and housing assistance to take the help that you need. You can find out about the organizations working to help and get help for people (in terms of rent, food, and other necessities) most affected by the pandemic financially.
4. Apply for a loan
If nothing works out, you can find out what banks are doing to help citizens affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Leverage what works best for you and take out a loan while you hustle to get a viable source of income. Don’t worry about an increase in debts if making rent is a much more significant concern for you. Remember to take one step at a time to solve your problems.
5. Take in more roomis or move out
If you list your room to find another roomi, you might end up being cramped for space, but you’ll be helping yourself and others. If your landlord isn’t onboard, explain your situation to them and make them understand that this could be the only way you would be able to manage the entire rent.
If you can’t afford your current place, find a cheaper room or bunk in with friends or family till things settle down.
And they will, soon enough.