While no one wants this to happen to them, it’s not uncommon for finances to stretch a little thin sometimes to the extent that you’re going to have trouble paying your monthly bills. Some bills you can let slide or get by with only paying a portion of the payment. But when it comes to your rent, this is one bill you’re never going to want to get behind on. Not only could this be a slippery slope to have to overcome, but you could end up without a place to live if things get too far. So to help you retain your home and navigate this tricky situation, here are three things you should do if you can’t afford to pay your rent on time.
Understand Your Lease
To know what you’ll be getting yourself into if you can’t afford your rent payment, Constance Brinkley-Badgett, a contributor to Credit.com, recommends first reading your lease and seeing what is says about this situation. Your lease should give you some guidelines as to what will happen if you’re late paying your rent or only pay a portion of the balance. If you’re only going to be a few days late and will only be given a small fee, you might just want to take that as it is. But if you won’t be able to pay and your lease says this could result in you being evicted, you’re going to have to find another way to make things right.
Speak With Your Landlord or Property Manager
After you’ve read your lease, you should then speak to your landlord or property manager. By letting them know that you’re going to be late in paying your rent or that your payment might not be in full, you have a better chance of working things out than if you try to slip something by them. Marcia Stewart, a contributor to Nolo.com, shares that by being upfront and honest about your financial situation with your landlord, they may be much more willing to be lenient with things like penalties or fees. This could make your negotiations go much smoother.
Seek Financial Assistance
If this situation is something that goes beyond just one month of bad financial planning, you should probably consider a more permanent solution. When you simply can’t afford to live somewhere, you may want to try looking for a less expensive place to live. Cara Newman, a contributor to YoungMoney.com, shares that you can also seek financial assistance from many organizations, like your state’s rental assistance programs, the Housing and Urban Development Department, or the USDA Rural Development Program. If you qualify, these programs could be very helpful in paying your rent each month and keeping you in a safe home.
If you’re concerned about your ability to pay your rent on time this month, use the tips mentioned above to help face this problem head on.