When times are desperate, you have to do things that you may not have wanted to do, including groveling. This is particularly true for certain things such as your rent. The reality is that some people live from paycheck to paycheck, and the slightest financial upheaval can make everything come tumbling down. There are options out there, such as payday loans, but they are not recommended for obvious reasons. It is better, at least in the first instance, to write to your landlord and ask for some consideration, something that he or she is likely to accept if you have been a good tenant.
Tips for Writing a Hardship Letter to Prevent Eviction
Unlike many other hardship letters, this particular one does not have to be as formal as others, particularly if you have been on friendly terms with your landlord. You do, however, have to make sure that the letter is open and honest. You must explain that you are currently experiencing financial hardship and why.
Although the letter doesn’t have to be overly formal, it does have to be formatted properly. Hence, it should be addressed to the right person and it should be dated as well. A good tip is to address your landlord personally in the letter, as this makes you look more human. You need to think about this situation from a psychological perspective. If you express your gratitude for the kindness and consideration of your landlord, he or she is more likely to show those very traits. However, you also shouldn’t lay it on too thick. Again, it is about being honest and open.
Content of the Hardship Letter
The letter does also have to be factual. Explain exactly what has happened that got you into your current situation of hardship. Examples include unexpected huge medical bills, loss of job, separation, death in the family, and so on. Make sure that you include documented evidence of a change in your income and expenses if applicable. Do also show that you have been proactive in trying to reduce your costs. This will show the landlord that you have tried everything and are truly in a desperate situation.
If you have always paid your rent on time and otherwise been a good tenant, make sure that you mention this in the letter as well. It doesn’t hurt to remind the landlord of the fact that, should you be evicted, it may be difficult to find a good tenant like yourself again. At the same time, you should not put this in a threatening way. At the end of the day, the landlord will be doing you a favor, not the other way around.
Last but not least, make sure the letter proposes a resolution. Explain how long you expect to be in financial difficulty, how much you can pay during that period, and how you intend to make up for the shortfall once your situation has improved. Do not make promises that you will not be able to keep. It is better to offer $5 a month and pay it, than to offer $50 and then realize later that you are unable to pay it.