What to do if you’re having trouble paying your rent

Updated: May. 7, 2020 at 10:55 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Even though businesses have shut down and people are out of work - the bills don’t stop. And we’re looking into what options are available as a renter if you can’t afford a payment.

“There are neighbors that are hit hard. We’ve got people who work in the service industry who have not be able to go to work,”said Banks Cowart, Community Director Crowne at Grandview.

In response, some communities - like the Crowne at Grandview are offering deferred rent payment option - where you don’t have to pay now - balances are rolled over to other months.

“At this period in time, we’re not going to put anyone out of their homes. We’re going to give people the opportunities they need,” said Cowart, Community Director Crowne at Grandview.

But if your apartment doesn’t offer that and you can’t pay rent - Apartment Guide experts suggest having a one on one conversation with your leasing office.

“The best thing you can do is have a conversation with your landlord or property manager to let them know the situation you’re in and what you can and can’t do,” said Brian Carberry, Managing Editor Apartment Guide.

Experts say be clear about when you were last working - what you can afford at the moment, and if you have an idea - when you think you may work again.

They also caution if you agree to a different rent payment plan -- make sure it’s something you’ll be able to afford.

“Don’t assume you’ll have money next month to pay,” said Carberry.

Carberry says if you a deferment plan requires you pay some money and you can't afford the terms, consider negotiating with the landlord about an amount that is feasible for your budget.

Governor Ivey has prohibited evictions during COVID.

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