Since 2020, many people in Georgetown had problems paying their rent. The federal government stepped in and imposed an eviction moratorium allowing renters to avoid eviction even if they have not paid what they owe to their landlords.
The moratorium may have been difficult for landlords who relied on their tenant’s rent payments to make ends meet. Now, the federal moratorium has been lifted, but this does not mean tenants can pay back all that they have owed over the cumulative past year and a half. Fortunately, there are steps tenants can take that will help them pay what is owed to their landlords who are relying on these payments.
Rental assistance may be available
Did you know that Congress set aside $46 billion for emergency rental aid? If not, now is the time to take advantage of this aid. There are more than 492 rental aid programs across the U.S. that are accepting applications for rental assistance. This assistance can help tenants pay back what they owe, which in turn helps landlords who need these payments as a reliable source of income.
What if an eviction lawsuit has not yet been filed?
There are some steps tenants can take if they are facing eviction, but their landlord has not yet filed a lawsuit commencing the eviction process. Sometimes simply talking to your landlord about the possibility of a repayment plan can help tenants catch up on payments while also allowing landlords to obtain the rents they have needed for many months. Some landlords may even be willing to temporarily or permanently reduce the amount of rent owed by tenants. Any agreements should be documented in writing, for the protection of both the tenants and landlords.
Sometimes eviction is inevitable
Despite these measures, sometimes landlords have no choice but to evict tenants who have not paid rent in a year or more. While landlords cannot change locks, turn off utilities or remove a tenant’s belongings before the sheriff has removed the tenant, this does not mean that eviction is not on the horizon. Tenants can take advantage of government programs that help people secure affordable housing. And, through a legal eviction landlords can regain access to their premises and find new tenants to make their rental properties profitable again.