How to handle rent payment issues as May rent looms

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Housing is the number one monthly expense for most people but amid the spread of the novel coronavirus, many people are struggling to pay their bills.

As the May 1, rent due date looms, experts are suggesting renters create an open dialogue with their landlords.

“If you’re running into a situation where you think you’re going to be struggling to pay rent, the earliest you can give your landlord or property manager a heads up, the better off you’re going to be,” said Apartment Guide Managing Editor Brian Carberry. “You can work with them on a payment plan or rent deferral plan. You can also potentially use some of your security deposit to cover either a portion or all of the rent if need be. Landlords don’t usually do something like that, but this is an unprecedented situation and you’d be surprised how willing landlords are to work with you on this.”

Some landlords, however, won’t be as lenient. 

If that’s the case, Carberry suggests you apply for rental assistance. 

Head to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website for links to helpful resources. 

You can also take out a loan, or ask for help from friends and family. 

“Grants available will be different dependent upon where you live and what regulations and rules are in place for you. Do some research and see what types of grants are being offered in your local area. If you’re waiting on a stimulus check, definitely use that if you’re in a bind,” said Carberry. 

Carberry says the Care Act includes a freeze on evictions of tenants for non payment in buildings financed by federally backed mortgages, and many states have put protections in place when it comes to evictions. 

Even though there is that protection though, Carberry says finding ways to make the rent payments is key, because you don’t want to get stuck paying large sums down the line. 

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