Rents are rising nationwide and if you’re feeling stressed out about making your payment, you’re not alone. If you realize you don’t have the money to cover your next rent payment, don’t panic. Follow these steps to negotiate a deal with your landlord and get your finances back on track.

Know your options

Take some time to look at the eviction laws in your area to understand your rights as a tenant. You might find that there are protections in place to protect you from eviction during a time of crisis.

Talk to your landlord

The sooner you can talk to your landlord about your missed rent payment the better. Approaching the conversation with empathy and kindness can go a long way. 

Offer up a solution

Coming to the table with a realistic solution (or two) will show your landlord that you’re willing to work on resolving the issue. Depending on your eviction laws, some options include: 

  • Making a partial payment and agreeing to pay the remainder at a later date if you know you’ll have more money coming in 
  • Spread the missed payment out over the remainder of your lease if you know you’ll be able to pay a slightly higher amount over those months 
  • Ask to use your security deposit to cover the missed payment and agree to replace the deposit at a later date
  • Ask for a break on rent in exchange for a service, like landscaping or snow removal at your landlord’s properties

Whatever solution you come up with, make sure you don’t end up making the situation worse for yourself. 

Get your agreement in writing

Once you’ve come up with a plan with your landlord, get the agreement in writing. You’ll want proof in case your landlord comes back and says they didn’t agree to these terms. 

Revisit your monthly budget & find ways to save

To avoid going any further into debt after your missed rent payment, take time to understand your budget and monthly expenses. There are a number of budgeting techniques out there to help get you back on track. The Brigit app can help you gain a better understanding of your finances and even help you find a side gig to earn extra money. 

If you still can’t afford your current rent, consider finding a roommate to help cover the cost or look into local housing assistance programs.