What To Do When You Can't Pay the Rent


As an adult, we have responsibilities. Whether this responsibility is for another person or whether it’s for a full time job, adulthood and responsibilities always come hand in hand. Indeed, one of the key responsibilities that often springs to mind when one discusses adulthood are the financial obligations. In another word, bills. It’s a word that is loathed by many and avoided by most as we all know, after the monthly invoices comes, our spending ability on the material goods and services we desire immediately decreases. This piece aims to provide a guide on what to do if you can’t pay rent. It will explore the various options available for an individual if they were to ever be exposed to a problem as such. Additionally this paper will also include a discussion for how we can prepare for a situation where we can’t meet our financial duties, and how we can start trying to make our money work for us.

There is no denying that houses in populated cities within America are increasingly unaffordable. In fact, New York has been voted among the top ten cities home to the most outrageously expensive real estate. This highly disproportioned reflection of the average American income and living standards mean that it is currently harder than it has been ever before, to live in a comfortable and decent sized apartment in the urban city. For those struggling to make ends meet, don’t fear, there are temporary as well as permanent solutions available to you in order to allow for a comfortable material and non-material standard of living. 

If you are currently struggling to pay off your rent as well as other bills, don’t bury your hand in the sand and hide from the facts, here are some active solutions you can take in order to improve your predicament.

Talk to Your Landlord

One of the simplest ways to try and aid your situation is to just ask. You may surprise yourself by how understanding your landlord is, especially if you have developed a relationship with them, or have few previous incidences of late rent payments. One of the most effective ways to ask is to contact them as far in advance as possible about a potential delay in your payment. Do not send a cheque that you know will bounce back as nothing infuriates a landlord more than a sneaky and untrustworthy tenant. When you do speak to your landlord, whether this is verbally or non-verbally, it is important to also explain to your landlord your situation. Honestly describe the difficulties and challenges you are currently facing and reinforce the fact that this is a temporary issue, then explain what your plan is in order to mend and assist your financial position. Lastly, offer your landlord, if possible, some of the rent payment on time. This is likely to calm a frustrated landlord and help your case. 

Identify the Root of the Financial Problem

Sometimes, it may be obvious why you have gotten yourself into this financial pickle. Maybe your expenses or income suddenly changed for the worse, or your partner moved out. The possibilities of why you can’t pay the bills are endless, however, identifying it is crucial. It won’t solve your current situation, however, it will aid and prevent a repeated incident. 

Cut Out Some of Your Expenses 

Reducing your expenses can be very difficult as it requires immediate lifestyle adaptation, however, nothing will be as painful as being evicted and possibly ending up on the streets. It is vital at this moment in time to divide your expenses into categories. Current obligations,’ deferrable needs,’ and mere wants and desires.’ Let me step you through each of these categories. Current obligations acts as an umbrella for those expenses that need to be paid before a deadline or will otherwise lead to severe consequences. You guessed right, rent payments fall under this category. Deferrable needs are those essential needs that can be substituted or delayed. An example of a good that falls under this category is food. While food is essential, due to the diverse and multiple options available to you, you have the ability to reduce expenses significantly in this area. Ensure you undertake extensive research to buy the cheapest food, and although this option may be unappealing, in reality all food products displayed in grocery stores are around the same quality range as all brands have a legal minimum to meet. The final category are wants and desires, and it is pretty obvious what fits in here, any expense that you can live without is classified as a want and is definitely out of consideration during financial hardship. 

Short-Term Loans 

Another option available to those struggling is to apply for a short-term loan. However, it is vital to note that it is strongly recommend you to obtain this loan through banks and other licensed institutions rather than online services due to greater degree of virtual danger. Unless licensed institutions due to various reasons deny your application then consideration of resorting to online services may be necessary. Before borrowing funds, it is crucial to understand what you are getting yourself into. If you are already short on cash, and your future financial situation is unpromising or unknown, you may dig yourself into further financial suffering. However, if you know you have proceeds coming through soon or in the future, this may be the best option for you. 

Remember to compare fees and rates among the various options available as well as personally understand how long you’ll be required to pay off the interest and what proportion the loan expenses and fees take up of your future income, as these expenses will be undoubtedly be classified under current obligations.’

Indeed, one of the best ways to avoid a situation as such is to ensure you have accumulated and built up a safety net of emergency savings. If you are already spending all of your income, maybe it is time to reflect on your expenses, re-categorize and re-divide.