What If I Can't Pay My Rent Because of Coronavirus?

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to cause people to lose their ability to earn income through work, renters are increasingly anxious about what will happen if they can't make their monthly payments.

What If I Can't Pay My Rent Because of Coronavirus?

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to cause people to lose their ability to earn income through work, renters are increasingly anxious about what will happen if they can't make their monthly payments.

Updated July 8, 2020

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Fortunately, many states are taking action to keep people safely in their homes without fear of being evicted if they cannot pay their rent. The Federal government, states, and even private lenders are all working to provide relief to this effect, for both homeowners and renters.

Eviction Relief Protection For Federally-Backed Housing

Those living in federally-backed housing have already been granted some protection. Under the new $2 Trillion CARES Act, if you reside in federally-backed housing, you have been granted a 120 day window of eviction relief, which means eviction notices cannot be served until July 25, and the eviction notice must allow 30 days to leave the property.

Furthermore, during this period, landlords are not allowed to charge penalties or fees if you pay your rent late. Keep in mind, tenants are still obligated to pay the rent at some point – this just eliminates the penalties for being late with your payment.

For housing that is not federally-backed, an increasing number of states have moved to temporarily suspend tenant evictions for renters. There has been some discussion of a national rental assistance program, but it has yet to materialize.

A comprehensive list of state-by-state eviction restrictions provides a lot of clarity on what each state is doing to keep people in their homes.

Payment Relief Assistance For Renters

The CARES act has also provided an additional $17 billion to the department of Housing and Urban Development which includes funds earmarked for rental assistance, housing for the elderly, public housing and housing vouchers. More information, including how to get access to funds, is available on the HUD website.

Stimulus payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 for each child age 16 or younger may also be used towards payment of rent.

Reach Out To Your Landlord

In all cases, speaking directly with your landlord is the best course of action. Everyone is affected by the difficulties we are facing, and many private landlords are working out their own payment plans to keep their tenants from facing hardship.

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