In this economy, it’s a frequent occurrence that people have trouble paying rent on time, or even just the full amount. If you find yourself in this position temporarily, it’s important to understand that there are some things you may be able to do.
First off, it’s best to just be up front. Bear in mind that no one really wants to evict anyone, and if you’ve been a good tenant thus far, there is no reason for you to open a dialogue about what you’re dealing with. There are a few things you want to do in this situation- though yes, do ask in writing, also have a conversation with your landlord if you can. Make sure that you explain why you are having difficulties and if you can offer anything, do so. Try to offer some assurance that you’ll pay the remainder by a certain date. You may have to pay a late fee, but this is a lot better than having to deal with an eviction.
The second worst thing you can do is to just hope that the landlord doesn’t notice. It’s important to be up front for a number of reasons, but your landlord may also be depending on that money. Even if he or she may want to help you out, this sort of thing almost always goes downhill- and if you can give some kind of notice, so can they.
So if that’s the second worst, what’s the first? If you don’t know for a fact that the check will clear: do not send it. Worse than not sending any rent money at all, you have now sent a worthless check that will probably carry fees with it. While your landlord does have the right to charge you for any fees that happen- this is just not the way you want to do business.
You should understand that if you’ve been an otherwise good tenant, you probably aren’t going to have a problem if you’re honest about your difficulties. Being late on rent doesn’t have to be a horrible issue for anyone involved. The eviction process is usually pretty expensive in and of itself, and it’s also a lot of trouble neither of you want to go through. So, realize that the odds are in your favor of being able to work something out that will keep you both happy.