So, you’ve missed last month’s rent payment and maybe the one prior. You’ve come home to an eviction notice on your door and are naturally concerned. Being faced with possible eviction is never a pleasant experience, but there are a few things to remember to help you deal with this situation. And while eviction laws vary from state to state, here are a few things to do if you find yourself in this scenario.
ALWAYS respond to the notice. Whether it is legal and court-ordered or just an ’empty threat’ from your landlord, you should never ignore it.
BE RESPECTFUL – YOU’RE THE ONE WHO DIDN’T PAY YOUR RENT.
Respond with courtesy and respect. You will get much farther in your dispute if you maintain your cool and act responsibly. Luckily the laws of this country allow you to state your side in the presence of a judge if you feel this eviction notice is unfair. However, if you are legitimately behind on payments or have violated your lease in some other fashion, the eviction will most likely stay in place.
MAKE PARTIAL PAYMENTS – IF POSSIBLE.
Discuss possible remedies with your landlord. Chances are they want to avoid dealing with another vacancy, so they’ll welcome any effort to negotiate a deal to make payments. For instance, if you cannot afford to make your $1,000 monthly rent payment in full, see if your landlord can accept $500 on the first of the month and another $550 halfway through. This way, you can still make your total rental payment while adding a little extra to balance your debt.
DOWNGRADE FROM WITHIN
Ask your landlord if they have a rental property with a smaller monthly payment that you could possibly transfer to. Most landlords prefer to keep tenants, regardless of the hassles. So if they have an opportunity to retain you, then they may agree.
DON’T BE A DEADBEAT
Always follow through on any arrangements that you make. If you have an agreement with your landlord, then keep up with your side of the bargain. After an eviction proceeding has begun, it can be resumed at any time should you fail to meet arrangements.
One last word of caution if you’re in an eviction situation. Remember that getting evicted can prevent your chances of ever renting from a reputable property management company or landlord in the future. Following the above suggestions can help you avoid eviction from completing its course. Take all the necessary steps and don’t shrug off this situation, or you could regret it later.
In some cases, you can do nothing to stop your eviction. If this happens, then you just have to accept the truth for what it is. Some issues are just out of your hands to fix, and if that is the case, you can always try to find a silver lining.
For more information on eviction laws, you should consult legal advice. Also, check out this article put out by Cornell on eviction law.