Can’t Pay Rent? These 5 Tricks Could Save The Day
(Liberty Sons) – When the national moratorium on evictions was lifted last summer, it was hoped that the pandemic-related issues that plagued the economy were fading. Unfortunately, millions of households have continued to struggle with the ability to pay rent, placing individuals and families at a higher risk of eviction and homelessness. If you
1. Read Your Lease Agreement to See If There Is a Grace Period
Many lease agreements feature a “grace period” for paying rent. This is a period of time after the rent’s due date during which the tenant can pay without accruing a late fee. Often, the grace period is five days before the tardy rent will begin to accrue late fees. It is also important to track the late fees that you are required to pay if you have missed the grace period in order to know the full amount you owe.
2. Have an Honest Discussion With Your Landlord — Sooner Rather Than Later
After your rent is already due is not the time to talk to your landlord about the difficulty you’re having with paying it. Instead, NPR recommends letting them know as soon as you realize that you’re going to have trouble making the complete payment. That way, there is more of an opportunity to work out a payment arrangement that will allow you to become current. Be sure to get any payback agreement you make with your landlord in writing and log the payments you make.
3. Consider Applying for HUD Assistance
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers rent assistance through its housing vouchers program. The program is designed to provide assistance for the extremely low income, elderly, and disabled. Through the program, applicants who are issued a housing voucher are responsible for finding a suitable housing unit in which the landlord agrees to accept rent through the program. The voucher pays a subsidized amount of the rent and the tenant is responsible for paying the difference between the subsidized amount and the amount that the dwelling is rented for.
4. Look into Assistance from an ERA Program
The federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) is administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury, and has been the recipient of $46.55 billion in funding through two congressional funding packages. The funding is provided to citizens through more than 420 state and locally-administered programs to assist individuals in paying rent. Often other household expenses can be paid through these programs, as well as expenses such as relocation. About one-third of the programs provide assistance directly to the tenant, while other programs require that the funds go directly to the landlord or other creditor of household expenses.
The Treasury Department provides a searchable database in order to learn more about the ERA program and eligibility criteria for your area.
5. Look Into Charitable Organizations In Your Area
Several state, local, or even national charitable organizations provide temporary housing assistance in order to help individuals and families avoid homelessness. For example, the Salvation Army USA reports that it has provided more than $112 million within the past 18 months to assist individuals who are unable to pay their rent. Additionally, the organization has provided around $81 million in utility assistance, and more than 225 million meals to those who do not have enough to eat.
In order to obtain assistance from the Salvation Army, individuals are asked to use the website to search for services provided by the organization in their area, select the type of services they are seeking, and to contact their area Salvation Army in order to learn how to access those services.
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