Talk to your landlord now if you’ve lost your income as a result of COVID-19

By: Lisa Zeiderman

According to CNBC approximately 10 million Americans filed for unemployment over the past two weeks. For renters, the CARES ACT and many states and cities have banned evictions during the COVID-19. New York, for example, has a 90 day eviction ban. While the eviction ban is helpful, the idea of not being able to pay your rent may seem unbearable.

For those of you that anticipate or are already struggling to pay your monthly rent, here are a few suggestions:

 1. Make sure you communicate with your landlord and that you are transparent and honest about your economic issues.

 2. If you have been furloughed or otherwise find yourself unemployed, be sure that you have proof of your unemployment to provide your landlord. The landlord will likely request documentation, be prepared to provide this information. Your landlord may also ask for a financial statement.

 3. If you need help putting together a financial statement for this purpose or for a loan, you may want to contact the Savvy Ladies Helpline Check with your landlord first, he/she may have an application process.

 4. Ask if your landlord would be agreeable to having you pay a portion of your rent and then deferring the remaining portion. Some landlords will work with you if you propose paying a reasonable amount now toward your rent if you also propose a plan to pay the remainder.

 5. Ask if your landlord will use some of your security monies toward the rent you will owe for the next month or two if possible with an agreement to replenish the security monies over a proposed timeline.

6. If you can’t work out a plan with your landlord, you should consult the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website to see what government assistance is offered. You can call 211 (for help in New York), as well as seeing what other financial programs are being offered through Catholic Charities, the local Salvation Army and other charities in your area.

Most of all, try not to panic and don’t hide from the problem. Communication is key!

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