If you are a renter facing the threat of eviction for non-payment of rent due to the pandemic, it is important to familiarize yourself with the programs and protections available to you at this time. Although some pandemic-related protections have expired, there are still eviction prevention measures and emergency rental assistance funds available to help cover payments you may have missed.
- You may be entitled to a notice to vacate: If you live in a property financed by the federal government (e.g., HUD/FHA or USDA), purchased or securitized by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) or the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), or that is receiving assistance from the federal government, your landlord must give 30-days notice to vacate. You can find out if you live in one of these properties by clicking here.
- You may be protected from eviction by a state or local law: State and local governments have strict laws that govern when and how someone can be evicted. Many additional requirements were put in place in response to COVID-19. It is important to research how those requirements might affect you.
- You may be eligible for rental assistance: The federal government has made nearly $50 billion in rental assistance available to help renters who are struggling to pay their rent or utilities. The U.S. Treasury website has a list of over 360 federal rental assistance programs broken down by state and locality.
- Talk to your landlord and come up with a plan: If you are experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19, you should talk to your landlord about the steps you can take to cover rent payments you have missed.
Here are several tips from HUD for talking with your landlord about your situation:
- Be open about your financial situation. Share how your income has been affected by COVID-19 or other difficulties. You shouldn’t be required to provide financial documents as proof.
- Be clear about your needs and keep in mind your landlord may be struggling financially too.
- Mention any resources and options you’ve found that could be helpful.
- Explain how your family would be impacted by a loss of housing, even if temporary.
- Ask for flexible payment arrangements or payment plans.
- Keep a written record of your conversations, including any email and text conversations. Keep track of the date and time you spoke