Q: I’m only working part-time, my job hours just got cut, and my rent is already past due. How can I avoid getting evicted?
A: To avoid eviction when your rent is due in a short period of time, you have at least four options.
Option 1: Borrow money
First, you can try to borrow the money you need for rent from family or friends.
This isn’t always possible, of course, because sometimes, relatives might be in just as bad a shape as you are financially.
But if you do have one or two people who could help you out, you may simply have to swallow your pride and ask for some financial assistance.
If you take this option, don’t let money ruin your relationship. Write up a contract.
Specify that the money given to you is a loan, and not a gift, and then repay the person – on time.
Don’t agree to a quick turnaround – like two or three weeks, since that’s not realistic.
You’ve already said that you’re only working part-time and that sometimes work isn’t available.
So if a family member or good friend does front you the cash, don’t make any promises about repayment that you aren’t 100% certain that you can keep.
Option 2: Sell something for cash
You could also sell something you own to try to raise cash for your rent.
It might be painful to part with something important or valuable.
But when push comes to shove, it’s better to have a roof over your head than to hang on to certain material goods.
Consider first unloading things that you no longer want need or use.
But you’ll need to sell and sell fast. A yard sale could work. Selling online at eBay would probably take too long.
But other online websites like Gazelle.com will automatically buy back your cell phones, iPads, tablets and other gadgets, and they pay you within 7 to 10 days.
Alternatively, you could try to sell something to a family member or buddy if you have something they’d like – such as electronics, furniture, or jewelry.
Option 3: Find short-term work
A third option is to go out and get some odd jobs that pay cash. Again, don’t let pride get in the way.
The goal is simply to earn money, and do it quick. So anything and everything is fair game.
You could walk dogs, wash cars, run personal errands for neighbors, do home improvement tasks or handyman-type of work if you’re good at fixing things … anything you can think of that would let you trade your skills for fast money.
Option 4: Negotiate with your landlord
A fourth alternative is to try to work a deal with your landlord.
This can be a tricky scenario, of course, especially if this isn’t the first time that you’re late with the rent or expect to be late.
But if this situation is an aberration, and you’ve actually paid your rent on time in the past, you might have some goodwill built up with your landlord.
Only you know your past rental history. If it’s good, it’s worth a shot to have a conversation about your financial difficulties.
There’s no need to get into all the gory details. Simply let your landlord know that money is very tight right now because of your part-time work and recently reduced job hours.
Ask if there’s any way you can pay some of the rent now and some later. One of the keys here is to be upfront and to have this conversation early.
Don’t wait until the day your rent is due because then you’re not likely to get much sympathy.
Hopefully, one or more of these options can help you get the money you need for your rent, or at least let you delay making your full rent payment until you’re back on your feet, in order to avoid eviction.
Good luck to you!