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Can I Stop Paying Rent due to Covid-19?

This question seems to be coming up quite a bit today during the uncertainties of the Covid-19 Pandemic and jobs being on hold for many people causing financial hardship like most people have never experienced. Many people have asked that if their landlord has been given a break from paying their mortgage can they then take a break from paying their rent?

Keep in mind that regardless of what might be happening with your landlord, you are still bound by the terms of your lease. You should review your lease and see if there are any provisions in there for extenuating circumstances. You can also contact your landlord and see if they’re able to allow you any relief from your regular payments. BUT if you don’t do that and you just stop making your payments without an agreement, you may open yourself up to legal ramifications and eviction.

Some things to think about before you consider this unfair. Because your landlord’s mortgage is on an income producing property, there’s a good chance that, even though you think he can, he may be eligible for a forbearance agreement. Also, keep in mind a forbearance agreement doesn’t mean he is not still going to be responsible for the payments in the future.  Also, you are living there and if something breaks down, will you still expect him to go to the expense of doing repairs? Plus, he still has to pay insurance and taxes.

Again, your best option if you need a break, is to contact your landlord and ask if there’s something you and he can work out. Then, either way, abide by his response.

If he’s not able to help you out, consider contacting your city or county and see if they’re offering residents rent assistance. Another source is to contact your church and see what kind of programs they might be offering. Many have set up relief programs assisting their members through these challenging times.