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Worried about rent? Here's how you should approach your landlord

Posted at 6:45 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 16:32:23-04

Are you behind on rent or dreading your upcoming payment? You’re likely not alone.

Whether It’s due the 1st of the month, or the 15th, according to a survey by Apartment Guide , more than 40% of renters are worried about their ability to make rent in the months ahead.

“What we would expect to see in the current climate and economy right now that people who aren't working or run into financial difficulties are going to be the ones that are going to struggle to make those rent payments and may have already experienced some of that last month or this month,” Apartment Guide Managing Editor Brian Carberry said.

If you find yourself in that boat, the best thing you can do is have an honest conversation with your landlord

“Send them an email write them a letter that says the same thing, just explaining your situation just, you know, this is what my current rent is, I've been furloughed, I’ve been laid off. Whatever it is, I don't think I can get afford this rent or I can only afford a portion of it. Let them know what your situation is and offer some solutions or some suggestions.

Offer options like a rent deferment plan, where you fore-go some payment now and pay it off over the length of the lease.

Even ask if you can dip into your security deposit to cover some costs, or if you have to, ask if you could use a credit card to pay it off.

All those options have long term financial consequences you should consider, but they can offer immense short-term relief.

“Every landlord and property managers can handle in their own way there's really no federal guideline of what these people should be doing right now so it really is just kind of helping out where they can,” Carberry explained.

“So don't go in, assuming a handout from it and just offer solutions that they might be willing to accept,” he added.

But most importantly, as difficult as it may be, do not avoid having that conversation.

“Everyone is kind of going through this right now, everyone's dealing with it in their own way, just because you see your property manager as this big company that you know has deep pockets that's not necessarily the case,” Carberry said.

“Employees there are being impacted by this just as much as you are in terms of pay cuts or furloughs so you avoiding paying your rent, those hurt a lot of people that you might not think about, so don't skip out on the rent, you're not going to be able to live rent free, even if you think that you don't have a conversation it's not going to come back to bite you later, it will,” Carberry added.

Rebound Rundown:

If you tried those options and still need help, there are organizations that offer limited rent assistance but that often depends on where you live, you can call Michigan 211 to see what’s available in your area.

An executive order by the governor has halted evictions until May 15th at 11:59 pm, many believe she will extend that order through the end of the month, but if you have eviction worries Legal Aid of Western Michigan could help qualified people, they can be reached at 616- 774-0672.