It is schweet having your own spot: you can come and go as you please, have friends over any time, stay up all night and... Pay The Rent. Yup, there’s no getting out of paying for your pozzie. But what if it’s the 31st and your bank account is nothing more than a big, fat zero?
Step 1: Check your lease
Read your lease to see how many days late you can pay your rent and if there are any late penalties. A landlord can’t charge you late fees unless it’s mentioned in the contract. You’ll usually have seven days after the usual date of payment to pay up, after which your landlord can take action.
Step 2: Personal persuasion
Your landlord is just a person and people don’t like being kept in the dark. It won’t help if you stick your head in the sand – just tell your landlord straight up what’s going on and ask if you can pay a bit later than normal. Chances are they’ll give you a break – but you have to stick to your word and pay when you say you will.
Step 3: Do what you can
If you can, pay a portion of your rent right away. This will show your landlord that you’re not trying to duck out of your agreement. Negotiate a date to pay the rest, or make a repayment plan until you catch up.
Step 4: Be legal wise
Yes, it’s your responsibility to stick to your rental agreement – but you can’t be wrongfully evicted. Speak to a lawyer friend or read the Housing Rental Act to find out what your rights are.