During this unprecedented time, many childcare facilities are unsure about the future. This series of blogs covers ways to help our audience navigate this confusing time. Below you’ll find tips for any childcare facility who might be having a hard time paying rent during this time.

When you experience a hardship that affects your ability to pay rent on time, proactively contacting your landlord to find a solution is usually your best choice.  If you are a conscientious and honest tenant who is temporarily short on funds, most landlords won’t evict you for paying rent a little late as it is expensive to pursue an eviction, and in the current economic environment, landlords may worry about their ability to find another lessor.  Therefore, both you and your landlord have an incentive to find a feasible way to keep you in your current space.  To avoid problems, follow this advice:

 

Try to negotiate reduced or delayed payment

Be upfront with your landlord about your situation. It is difficult and expensive for a landlord to evict you and if they consider you a good tenant, they won’t want to lose you. Some basic steps to take when asking for reduced or delayed payment:

  • Update your budget so that you know when, or under what circumstances, you’ll be able to restart paying rent.
  • Send a letter or email as soon as possible asking for the time you believe you will need.
  • Explain your situation and difficulties. Let them know it is a temporary issue.
  • Provide proof of hardship if possible.
  • If you have the means, offer to pay a portion of the rent on time. Often, landlords have expenses that have to be paid like property taxes or mortgages, so try to help the landlord cover those expenses, while reducing your total expenditure at the same time.
  • Give the landlord a date you can pay the full rent, if you have one, and make sure you keep your promise to pay.
  • If your landlord has a late fee policy, be prepared to pay. You can ask to forgo the late fee if you feel they will be responsive.

 

Do not send a check you know will bounce

No one likes getting a bounced check. Upsetting your landlord is not the only consequence of a bad check. A bank may charge the landlord a fee for a returned check which they will in turn charge you, most likely adding a few dollars for their troubles. You may also be charged a fee for a returned check. Sending a bad check is like not paying rent at all.

 

The problem won’t go away, so don’t ignore it

Like so many other things, honesty is the best policy. If you think your landlord won’t notice you didn’t pay, you would be wrong. Your landlord depends on your rent to cover their own expenses. A landlord will be more forgiving and willing to negotiate if you are upfront and honest with them.

 

Keep in mind that your landlord is under no obligation to work with you on delinquent rent, unless state guidelines in your area have changed during this time. In states that have temporarily halted evictions, there are stipulations that rent still must be paid in full at the end of a certain period, so make sure you read up and know what to expect. If you don’t pay rent on time and in full, your landlord has the right to start legal action to evict you and collect the money.

 

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