1. Talk to your landlord.
The sooner you let your landlord know your issues, the better. One silver lining to the coronavirus outbreak is that you’re certainly not alone when it comes to lost income.
Since so many people have been laid off or can’t go to work, your landlord won’t be shocked if you tell them there may be a problem with the rent this month.
2. Write a hardship letter.
A formal way to get on your landlord’s good side during these tough times is to send them a hardship letter.
In the letter, you describe your financial issues and explain why you won’t be able to pay the rent. If you don’t want to write it from scratch, you’ll find plenty of rent hardship letter templates online.
3. Negotiate a payment plan.
You may not have all of the rent at this moment, but that could change in the next few weeks, especially if you qualify for a stimulus check that may be on the way.
If your landlord doesn’t let you skip the rent, they may let you set up a payment plan to pay it off in separate installments as you get paid.
Again, the COVID-19 outbreak makes the reality of such an offer being accepted much higher since people around the globe are suffering financially.
4. Try to lower your rent.
While you may have money troubles at the moment, your landlord may have them too. Even if you can’t pay your entire rent, they may accept a reduced amount, so they have some cash flow.
Discuss lowering your monthly rent, at least temporarily, to make your payment more manageable for the time being. You can do this through a simple phone call or in-person, or by writing a letter to reduce your rent payment.
5. Look at your lease.
Does your lease have a hardship clause? If so, it could relieve you of your responsibilities and let you break your contract due to your financial troubles.
A hardship clause usually won’t let you skip rent payments. It could let you move out, however, without having to pay any penalties so you can cut your costs almost instantly.
6. Find rental assistance.
Although the demand for rental assistance is probably sky high right now, you may be able to find the help you need via local or national programs.
Your best bet to find such programs is probably online. Search for your city or county name along with rental assistance.
If nothing comes up, you could also try to find something on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website.
7. Know current eviction laws.
Since the coronavirus’s economic impact is so widespread, many states have ordered a stop on evictions. This currently applies to HUD-owned properties, so look to see if you’re protected until you get your financial situation squared away.
8. Cut other costs.
Many companies have paused billing in response to the coronavirus. If your utility bills do not have to be paid, you could use that saved money towards your rent.
You could also call companies to see if they’ll let you skip this month’s payments due to COVID-19.