Paying Your Past Due Rent and Negotiating a Way To Stay
1. Paying your past due rent
Getting caught up on your past-due rent is the most obvious way to avoid being evicted but may be easier said than done.
If you know your finances are about to take a positive turn you may want to consider lending money from a friend or family member, knowing that you can pay them back as soon as you come right financially.
2. Negotiating a way to stay
You’ve looked at your budget and your financial prospects, and you know things will improve in a few months. If you are certain that you won’t have any issues in paying your rent after your financial problems are over, talk with your landlord about making reduced rent payments for a while.
Your landlord may agree if you can convince him/her that your financial prognosis is good and if you’ve had good payment history up until now.
If your landlord is a big bureaucratic company rather than an individual who maintains a direct relationship with his/her tenants, you may find it difficult to negotiate a way to stay in your home.
If your landlord is willing to let you make smaller rent payments for a limited period of time, get the terms of your agreement in writing.
Be sure the agreement addresses all the following:
- The amount of reduced payments.
- The duration of reduced payments.
- When you will be in default of the agreement.
- The consequences of a default.
- How and when you must pay any rent that is already past due. Your landlord may agree to take the money out of your deposit, but if your deposit won’t cover it all, you need to agree how you’ll make up the balance. Many landlords prefer to reserve security deposits to pay for cleaning and repairing and apartment after a tenant moves out, so your landlord may expect you to pay your past due rent in full.
- How you’ll make up the difference between your normal monthly rent and what you will be paying. Your landlord may want you to pay the difference in a lump sum by a certain date, or he may expect you to pay a little extra each month after you resume your regular monthly rental payments. Some (but not many) landlords will agree to deduct the difference from your security deposit and then look to you to make up whatever money you may still owe.
- Whether you must pay an extra security deposit.