More than 5 million households are still behind on their rent
Viorel Kurnosov | Istock | Getty Images
With about two months left until the US Department of Health and Human Services ends the three-year Covid public health emergency, more than 5 million homes in the country are lagging behind on their rent.
Overall, tenants still owed nearly $11 billion in rent arrears through the first two weeks of February, according to National Equity Atlas. On average, tenants who are in arrears owe $2,094.
Fortunately, the public health crisis has led to the creation of a range of new protections for renters, some of which remain in place.
More from Personal Finance:
Here’s the inflation breakdown for February – in one chart
Experts burden the banking system
Wage growth is cooling, but workers still have bargaining power
“Some cities may have rental assistance or free legal aid, as well as community organizations and tenants’ associations that could help them understand their rights and possible solutions,” he said Jacob HaasResearch Specialist in the Eviction Lab.
Here are some of your options if you’re in the red.
Consider your rental assistance options
Most Rental utilities that opened during the pandemic are now closed, but some are still accepting applications.
Visit the National Low Income Housing Coalition website for a state guide of relief options and their status.
Renters should keep an eye on the rental support options available to them and apply quickly if they see one open, advocates say. The money is usually used up quickly.
The Texas Rent Relief Program began accepting grant applications on March 14, but is scheduled to stop doing so as early as Thursday. A hint for his website It says: “Within the first 24 hours of reopening, requests for assistance far exceeded available funds.”
Assess your financial resources
“The biggest potential problem is having a balance and paying interest on your rent,” Rossman said. “This can significantly add to an already significant effort.”
Instead, he recommends renters ask their landlord for an extension or payment plan. Other ways to meet the rent can be by borrowing from family members and friends or from Your retirement plan, Rossman said — although withdrawing from your nest egg has its own consequences.
Familiarize yourself with tenant law
It pays to do your research and familiarize yourself with all the rights you might have as a renter, experts say. Many of these rights have been expanded during the pandemic.
In certain cities, for example, landlords are now limited in their ability to increase their rent. If you are threatened with eviction because of an illegal increase, it is good to know: You may be able to assert this with the housing court or with your landlord.
Protesters in Minneapolis rallied to stop home evictions during the pandemic.
universalimagesgroup | Universal picture group | Getty Images
In some locations, if you are evicted, you are entitled to a specified notice period, e.g. B. at least 90 days in certain cases in Portland, Maine. During the school year, educators and families with school-age children recently received new eviction protections Oakland, California.
If your landlord has increased your rent above a certain amount in the meantime, you might be eligible in some cities, including Seattle And Portland, Oregonto cover part of your moving costs.
Work with an attorney
If your landlord has moved to evict you, housing advocates recommend that you try to find a lawyer as soon as possible.
A study in New Orleans found that more than 65% of tenants were evicted without a lawyer, compared to just 15% of those who had a lawyer with them at their hearing.
Inexpensive or free legal assistance in the event of an eviction in your federal state can be found at Lawhelp.org.
In a growing number of cities and states, including Washington, Maryland And ConnecticutTenants who are threatened with eviction now have a right to free advice.
For a longer list of these locations see civilrighttocounsel.org.
https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/16/more-than-5-million-households-still-behind-on-their-rent.html More than 5 million households are still behind on their rent