Tips for paying rent if you’ve lost your job or been furloughed during the pandemic

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s the start of a new month and that means rent is due for many people renting a home or apartment. Making rent is extra stressful right now for people who lost their jobs or have been furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBS 17 is getting answers from experts about how renters can get help during these tough times.

Brian Carberry, the managing editor for Apartment Guide, says the first step to take is to be open and honest with their landlord.

“Explain to them exactly what you are going through, the financial difficulties you are facing, explain to them why you can’t pay your rent, and more importantly explain to them what you can do,” Carberry said.

He encourages renters to ask about rent deferment or a payment plan. Moving to a new home for cheaper rent may not necessarily save you money because moving fees add up quickly and landlords typically charge renters for breaking their lease.

“If you are honest and open with yourself, as well as transparent with them about what you can do and what you can’t do, it will be easier for you guys to reach an agreement or some sort of payment agreement that you both will be happy with,” Carberry said.

Often times he said landlords will let renters use security deposits to get through a few months.

“One thing to keep in mind that if you do dip into a security deposit and there is damage to your unit when you move out you are going to pay for those damages after out of pocket,” said Carberry.

Renters can look into federal and state renter’s assistance programs to apply for.

On Saturday, Gov. Roy Cooper extended a moratorium to prevent landlords from evicting renters and utility companies from disconnecting service. The executive order applies to electric, gas, water, and wastewater services for the next 60 days.

The order also encourages banks not to charge customers for overdraft fees, late fees, and other penalties.

The North Carolina Department of Revenue also announced expanded tax relief measures, waiving penalties for late filing or payments of multiple state tax categories.

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