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.