What Can I Do If I Can’t Pay My Rent?
The turbulence of recent times has forced many to adapt their financial strategies. Families and homes that were already struggling to make ends meet have been hit especially hard and may now be dealing with the repercussions of debts incurred during the pandemic and furlough periods. Regardless of the reasons for being unable to afford rent, we've put together a series of points that may help you.
Inform the Landlord
The very first thing that should be done when rent cannot be paid in full is to speak to the landlord. This is going to seem incredibly daunting but can prevent a great deal of animosity when the money isn’t in their account by the end of the month. In some cases, the landlord may even sympathise and allow you to temporarily lower the rent with a repayment plan across future months. Whether it's due to a change in circumstances, a reduction in benefits, or difficulties with budgeting, it's vital to communicate with your landlord.
Balancing the Books
If you're in a situation where you're unable to pay rent, it's important to identify what the problem may be and plan accordingly. It may be caused by a loss of a job, your partner not contributing towards the rent, or you could be living beyond your means.
If affording rent, even on a lower or partial income, was unachievable, the landlord likely wouldn't accept the tenant in the first place. Rent should rest at around a third of the tenant’s monthly income so that it remains affordable. Balancing the books and getting rid of any unnecessary purchases can help to build up a small savings pot for the end of the month which can be used to pay rent.
The uncertainty brought on by COVID has been substantial for many households. The impact of furlough has caused many to rethink their financial plans with the reduction of wages to 80%. This could mean that families that were already struggling to make ends meet, may now be in a worse situation. The government have realised the potential fallout that this could have on the property market and thus implemented the Coronavirus Act 2020. The act elongated the necessary eviction notice periods to discourage landlords from kicking their tenants out, while this plan is no longer valid, landlords are still discouraged from prematurely removing tenants (especially when exhibiting signs of the virus).
The number one thing to keep in mind when unable to pay your rent is to not be embarrassed. A great deal of the time, the circumstances that have led you to this point are beyond your control. Ensuring that you’re willing to openly discuss the issue with your landlord will help to convince them that you’re coming from a place of honesty and should therefore help you in reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.
Getting Help & Advice
If you would like to speak to someone to get free advice and how you can deal with your landlord, you can contact Citizens Advice or Shelter. These organisations will be able to provide advice on what you can do and what entitlements you might be able to claim.
Contact Hadleigh Estate Agents for Properties to Buy & Rent
If you’re looking for a property to buy or rent in Birmingham, please get in touch with our property experts at Hadleigh Estate Agents. We are market leaders in the Harborne and Edgbaston areas.
Our friendly, experienced, and qualified team of estate and letting agents like to take the time to understand your needs to find out exactly what you’re looking for in a purchase or rent property.
Get in touch with us on 0121 427 1213 or you can send us an email here.