Inexpensive Apartment Search
Tips for Getting Your Rent Reduced
The Lying Landlord
We have a big dilemma. We rent our house and our lease is up next month. We have to move. Renewing our lease is not an option due to the fact that our landlord has not fixed the house and it is falling down around us. We have been to court already and the mortgage holder is foreclosing on the property. Anyway, our problem is we had a baby seven months ago and since then have spent the small savings we had and have been living paycheck to paycheck! We absolutely have not been able to spare a dime to save and I am very thrifty. How can we move if we have no money to pay first and last month's rent and a deposit? We do not qualify for welfare housing. Please help!
These suggestions are probably obvious, but here goes:
There are a few suggestions for this struggling couple that may work. First, Go to your church and ask for help! Many times another parishioner will have the answer. Perhaps, they have a house that they have to rent or one with a land contract with no money down. Or the church as a whole may rally together to help with the funds for that crucial down payment.
This would definitely be the time to move in on family members if you have any close. This could be a temporary situation that could give you the opportunity to save for the deposit on another house or apartment. Scout the ads! There may be apartments that are running "No Deposit" specials.
We were faced with a similar situation when my husband was transferred to a rural community. I was a full-time university student and his was our only income. Therefore, we had very little in savings. We were able to find a house by doing a few things:
I always recommend familiarizing yourself with your state's landlord/tenant act (that's what it's called in Alaska). I believe you can request a copy from your local state law enforcement agency, district attorney, or online.
I live in Pennsylvania, and in my area there are two ways to get housing assistance. One is through the Housing Authority or HUD. Your situation would probably qualify for emergency housing and you would be top on the list for housing opportunity. Typically, rent is 1/3 of your income.
The other way is through the Commission on Economic Opportunity. They provide emergency housing assistance and can pay part or all of initial rent costs. They pay security or first month's rent or both depending on your situation. They also have emergency payment if you have a shut off notice for your electric or gas bills. You can't abuse this service, but it does help in true emergencies.
If your husband is handy with his hands, you could find a landlord that would agree to let your husband fix up his property in exchange for a month or so of free rent. It may be a long shot since finding such a landlord may not be easy. But my husband and I did it. He is a painter and made arrangements with our landlord to paint the interior of the house in exchange for free rent.
Check your local phone book for organizations, such as religious organizations, that can help you with moving costs. There are organizations out there that will pay for your first and last month's rent and deposit to help get you settled. Call the business office of the city that you live in and ask for a "where to turn" booklet of services in your county. They will mail it to you for free and it is full of agencies and resources for just about any situation. In Seattle, this booklet is published by the Crisis Clinic for the United Way.
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