Housing is one of the most important expenses in your monthly budget. It just so happens to often be one of the largest expenses, too. Because of this, it can become difficult to budget for unexpected expenses. Millions of households are currently facing financial burden. If you are worried about not being able to pay rent, there are resources out there to help you.
Here’s what to do if you can’t afford your monthly payment.
What You Can Do if you Can’t Pay Rent
Don’t wait to take action until your rent is due. The sooner you can come up with a plan, the better off you’ll be. According to the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), here are some tips for reaching out to your landlord about struggling to pay rent in a given month:
- Try to communicate with them calmly and clearly.
- Be candid about your situation. Share how your income has been affected or any other difficulties.
- Consider mentioning any resources or assistance options you’ve found.
- Ask about payment arrangements.
- Keep any email and text conversations, and make notes when you speak in person.
If your landlord has decided to evict you, here’s what you can do in South Dakota to possibly postpone it or maybe stop it altogether.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 provides unemployment benefits for the self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, gig economy workers, those who have exhausted other unemployment insurance benefits and those who may not have sufficient work history to qualify for a regular state claim. Just visit their site to learn more about this opportunity.
Tenant Guidance: Rent Repayment Plans – This document assists at-risk tenants in understanding and pursuing rent repayment agreements with their landlords. The document includes links to helpful resources and a sample script for requesting a repayment agreement from a landlord. Use of this guidance is optional and tenants are strongly cautioned to review their state and local laws as under some laws, a tenant notifying an owner of the inability to pay rent is sufficient for the owner to initiate eviction proceedings.
Short-term Assistance – South Dakota Housing Development Authority is working to assist South Dakotans who have been impacted by COVID-19 and the related economic crisis by offering financial assistance to help stabilize their housing situation. If you are unable to pay rent, mortgage, or utilities because of the pandemic, short-term assistance may be available. Please visit www.sdhda.org for more information.
The Emergency Solutions Grants program offers those who meet certain criteria the opportunity to access funds for emergency shelter and homelessness prevention, including short- and medium-term rental assistance and rapid rehousing to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. Click here for a listing of agencies who have ESG funds available.
Helpline Center – 211 provides a 24/7 helpline that is connected to a prepared team, capable of providing information. If you need help finding food, or essential basic needs, call 211 to speak to someone who can help or visit their site.
Tools for Landlords with Tenants Impacted by COVID-19 – This document helps landlords to engage with at-risk tenants while remaining in compliance with fair housing laws and understand the key elements of a repayment plan. The document provides links to sample rent repayment agreements.