Maybe your car broke down and your hard-earned savings went straight to the mechanic. Perhaps you didn’t get the hours you needed at work, and your paycheck was already lacking to begin with. Whatever the reason, sometimes life happens and you end up being late on rent. If you’re a few days behind on rent, read on to find out what to expect. More importantly, learn how you may be able to get your landlord to (hopefully) cut you a little slack. Read the rest of this entry »
Imagine coming home to your apartment to find a piece of paper bearing those three little words every renter fears: “Notice of Eviction.” It can happen for a number of reasons, and while the prospect of eviction is scary, it’s best to know what‘s coming so you can deal with it effectively. Before you start to panic or try to find a new apartment, read up on these apartment eviction basics.
What happens first in the eviction process?
First your landlord must issue a termination notice informing you that you have violated your rental agreement. This might be because you haven’t paid your rent, have violated the terms of your lease by keeping a pet in your apartment, or have damaged the property, to name a few common reasons. If you receive an eviction notice, respond to it right away. The sooner you address the problem, the easier things may be as the process continues.
Will I have to go to court if I am evicted?
You’ll probably have to go to an eviction hearing, where you have the right to make an argument defending yourself in front of a judge.
Can I keep from getting evicted from an apartment?
You may be able to avoid eviction if you reform your behavior right away. For example, paying all your late rent in full plus all late fees can help get your eviction notice rescinded. Talk to your landlord and see if they are willing to work with you (after all, there’s no harm in asking), and consult an attorney if you think you may be able to have your notice rescinded.
Will eviction affect my credit report?
Getting evicted can affect your credit negatively, but your landlord will have to put in some effort to make it happen. Landlords have the right to notify one of the three major credit bureaus if a tenant is evicted, but the process costs time and money, and your landlord might not be willing to go to those lengths. No matter what, you should still keep an eye on your credit throughout the eviction process. Knowing your way around your credit report, especially if you’re renting with bad credit, will make it easier to find an apartment.
Disclaimer: A note to renters: Please keep in mind that this guide is not all-inclusive, and should not be taken as legal advice. Eviction laws are different in every state. If you are facing eviction and want to take legal action, consult a qualified attorney.
Sometimes unexpected problems like major car repairs, medical bills, and sudden unemployment can come up and make it difficult to pay your rent on time. Facing eviction and a new apartment search is far less palatable than finding a solution to your problem, and while these problems are all legitimate, they are not legal reasons to suspend your rent payment. To try and avoid the possibility of having to break your lease and a start a new apartment search, read on.
Paying Your Rent Late
If you know that you will be late on your rent payment for your apartment, search your lease first for information. It will generally outline the process for dealing with late rent, both for the leasing office and for the renter. There is sometimes a “grace period” after the first day of the month; that is, a certain number of days during which it is acceptable to turn in your rent check without a late fee. It is best not to take advantage of this grace period often, and instead pay your rent on time regularly.
Talk to Your Landlord
To avoid eviction and an apartment search, talk to your landlord about your situation, especially if it is a one-time occurrence. If possible, speak with your landlord in person rather than by phone. When explaining your problem, be straightforward. If you are able, offer your own, specific solution. For example, if you can pay part of your rent now, and can pay the rest within 3 weeks or with next month’s rent, offer that option. Landlords are often open to these specific solutions, especially if you are a good tenant, since it saves them from going through a time-consuming and costly eviction and remarketing process. Please keep in mind though that landlords have bills to pay, just like you. Paying late will most likely result in late fees that you must pay along with your rent.
If you still can’t pay your rent, search the local renting information page at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website. You may be able to find more information about what to do in your situation or how to get assistance.
Late Rent Legal Disclaimer
Please bear in mind that the suggestions in this blog post are not to be taken as legal advice, and that it is important to consult a qualified attorney before taking any legal action. We strongly encourage you to pay your rent on time, every time.
Late on rent? You’ll want to pay up as quickly as possible and take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Although being late on rent most likely won’t result in the loss of your apartment, you definitely don’t want to make it a habit. It could result in late fees, a very upset landlord, and at worst, eviction. Here are some tips to help you out if you’re late on rent.
Check Your Apartment Lease
Every apartment lease will have a section about late rent. When you find an apartment, it’s a good idea to ask questions about the lease and go over the sections, not forgetting the one about late rent. The lease should clearly state any late fees and on what past-due date they will be charged. These late fees are there for a reason: to motivate residents to pay rent on time. Every lease is different, but sometimes apartments will only charge late fees after the rent is a certain amount of days late. Still, don’t let this make you think you have a few extra days past the due date to pay — rent is due on or before that due date, which is typically the first of the month.
If you’re not paying on time, it’s late — and your landlord could start taking steps to evict you. If necessary, you may want to consider legal assistance in this situation.
Pay Your Rent
You should pay your rent on or before its due date. Keep in mind that your landlord is probably just like you: He or she has bills to pay and needs to pay them on time. Receiving late rent could cause them to be late on their mortgage or other bills, thus incurring late fees. If you’ve been late on rent to the point that you’ve incurred fees, don’t forget to pay those on time, too.
Pay Your Rent On Time Every Time
Take steps to make sure you’ll be able to pay your rent on time every time. You’ll have to examine your budget and your own situation, but some ideas to help you could include setting reminders on a calendar, or even getting a roommate to help cover costs.
Late Rent: A Disclaimer
This article is just meant to make our readers aware of some things that come along with being late on rent — we are not lawyers, and laws regarding tenants and leases vary from state to state. We stress always paying rent on time, and seek legal advice if needed. You can also use the government’s Housing and Urban Development website to research your situation.