Monday, November 4, 2013

Ways To Avoid Eviction

If you are facing eviction and know that you will not be able to pay your rent on time if at all, here are a few ways you may be able to avoid going through an eviction:
  • TALK TO YOUR LANDLORD - If you live in an apartment, see if you can transfer your lease to a smaller, less expensive unit. If you live in a private residence, explain your situation to the landlord. They may be willing to work with you. The process of eviction is expensive for the property owner as well as the tenant and you may find they are as willing to avoid a court proceeding as you are. Of course the better relationship you have with the landlord, the easier it will be for them to compromise with you.
  • FIND SOMEONE TO TAKE OVER YOUR LEASE - Some property owners will allow you to break your current lease if you can find a suitable replacement. In this instance everyone wins. You get out of a lease you can no longer afford and the landlord doesn't lose any rent in the process. The downside to this option is time. You may have to incur expense to find a suitable replacement and there is no guarantee that they will be acceptable to the owner of the property.
  • SUBLET THE PROPERTY - If talking to your landlord or finding someone who fits rental criteria to take over your lease are not viable options for you, consider having someone you trust such as a friend or relative sublet your apartment or home. Depending on the length of time you have remaining on your lease, you may know someone who is in need of temporary housing and doesn't want to go through the formality of signing a lease. You must be very careful with this type of situation. If the person moves in and doesn't pay the rent on time, you are in the same situation. They also have to trust that you are truly using their money to pay the rent. Set some ground rules and draw up a contract that both of you sign, outlining the details of agreement.
  • GET A ROOMMATE - If you have the space, find a roommate. If you are residing in a 2 bedroom apartment or are renting a home and have extra rooms, rent them out to someone you trust. That's a good way to alleviate some of the monthly costs and prevent you from going through a long and costly eviction, as well as keep it off your record. Depending on what your needs are, the slight inconvenience could be well worth it compared to the alternative.
Though you may not have the money, what you do have is time. Visit the website of your local Real Estate Commission and research landlord/tenant laws for your state. Even if the eviction process has started, if you can get the money together by your court date many landlords will accept it at that time. If not, you can appeal the decision of the court and buy yourself more time. The bottom line is DON'T GIVE UP!

Life After Eviction

When I was evicted from my apartment in February of 2009, I wasn't sure what to do. I had found a place that I liked that was reasonably priced and explained my situation. The apartment manager seemed very understanding and willing to accept additional deposit money. I filled out the application, paid the application fee and deposit. I then received a call from the manager saying that they would not be able to rent to me. I even offered to pay 6 months rent to no avail. My deposit was returned without the application fee. I was disappointed to say the least. Now here I was moving to another city feeling down and out and with nowhere to live. But believe it or not, there is 'life after eviction'. While you may think you'll never be able to rebuild your rental history after you've been evicted, but that couldn't be further than the truth. There are ways to prepare yourself for the inevitable, if it gets to that point.
     Use the time you have wisely. If you know PRIOR to being late on your rent that you won't be able to pay it on time,if at all. Now is the time to start looking around for another place. If you have had good rental history and a good relationship with your landlord until now, they will have nothing negative to say about you as a tenant at this point, because you have yet to miss your rent payment. In this situation, time is on your side and the sooner you start looking, the better. Even if the eviction process has already started, don't give up. All is not lost.

     With the flood of homes on the market, many homeowners unable to sell their homes are forced to rent them out. Add this to the units already available for rent either through apartment complexes or individually owned homes and you will find that there are plenty of landlords out there willing to give you a second chance.

     Compile a list of properties that you are interested in. Make an appointment and take a tour. Sometimes explaining your situation face to face works better than just calling on the phone and asking if they rent to people with an eviction. First response is almost always a big fat NO!! But it's harder to say no to someone that you've built a connection with. They may be more willing to hear your side of the story. That is not to say you won't still be rejected, that is still a possibility.  There will always be those who under no circumstance will rent to someone with an eviction. You just have to keep searching until you find the person that will.

     That is exactly what I had to do. Now luckily, my family and I had somewhere to stay for a few months while I figured things out. I knew I would be receiving my tax refund soon and have a little extra money if needed so I started the apartment hunt again. I found a place I liked, took a tour and filled out the application. Crossing my fingers of course. I received a call from the leasing agent saying that my application had been rejected.....again!  I talked to the manager to plead my case, explaining in detail my situation. She agreed to accept my application with 2 months rent as deposit. So although it cost a little more upfront, I was able to begin the process of rebuilding my rental history. Now one and a half years later, I have put positive space between myself and my last apartment building positive rental in the process.  So you see, there is life after eviction!