Job gone, can't pay rent, any suggestions?

kiwi0099March 22, 2010


I have an apartment and I am in a 1 year lease because they do not offer short term leases or month-to-month leases... to young people. I am going to be losing my job, company can't get enough business :(, and so I won't be able to pay rent anymore. I have spoken with the landlord and they refuse to help me in anyway and won't even attempt to advertise the unit as available.

Also when I leased they mentioned I could sublease, but since I did not get it in writing they were able to turn the tables on me and say 'no.' They do not want me to find another tenant of my own accord because they want control of the demographics of the apartments. I am going to lose money anyways because the mite infested carpet, destroyed linoleum and counters should have been changed out a couple years ago (according to landlord) but they apparantly 'forgot' and I know they will most likely try to pin it on me.

I am still attempting to find another tenant, regardless of what they say. I am in a bind on what to do about my lease, I do not know what will happen if I send them a notice of vacate, move out, and then move back home to another state (with no intentions of returning) I will not be able to afford any 'owed' rent due to the lack of income, and won't keep paying if they don't intend on trying to re-lease.

How will it affect my credit? How much will it effect my credit if this is the 1 bad thing out of many good records on loans, previous leases, and good utility history? Will it show up as an eviction? Will anything happen to me?

Does anyone know a better way to handle this?

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Is there no chance of getting another job where you are living now? You still have a job--it is easier to get a job when you already have a job. Can you try a massive job search and take anything that is offered to you? Even if you were to stay for a month or two without paying rent while looking for a job it would not be the end of the world. Evictions usually take about two months (check your state regulations on this) and then you might be able to work out a payment plan to pay your back rent, depending on your landlords.

Also, check the laws in your state regarding breaking a lease. In a few states, if you are moving more than a certain number of miles, you can break your lease without penalty.

Bear in mind that you did sign a contract and the landlords have every right to expect you to pay rent until the end of your lease. It is unfortunate that they will not work with you, but it is also likely that they have had other tenants lose their jobs and they may have other units sitting empty and not earning money for them. They may not be able to be flexible; they have expenses and salaries to pay.

As for your credit rating, yes, it will probably take a hit. In most cases, things like this age off in 7 or 10 years, so it won't be there permanently.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 11:05PM
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Thank you for the response,

The lease will only have two months left on it when I leave, is that enough for them to want to try to sue, or evict me? I have no intentions of leaving the property destroyed or vandalized in any way, just leaving.

I will not be finding another full-time job because I am going back to school, I am going to go to college.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 9:01AM
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If you leave, they can't evict you--you will be gone. Eviction is how landlords get tenants who haven't paid the rent out of the unit. However, they can come after you for the back rent, and possibly the costs of collecting the back rent. Check your local laws to find out. And this can end up on your credit rating, where it will affect future loans and credit. How much it will affect your credit rating is hard to determine. How hard they will try to get the money is up to them.

If you have a standard one month's security deposit, it is possible that it might be applied to one month's rent. But some places don't allow this. And if there is any damage to the unit, the security deposit will go to cover that.

To cover yourself, try to have a walk-through with the landlord before you leave, where all the damage is pointed out and you have a chance to fix it. Things like shampooing the carpet or cleaning the bathroom. You don't want them to nickle and dime the security deposit away on things that you can remedy yourself.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 3:49PM
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ok, thank you for the advice. I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 12:27PM
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Most landlords and rental companies don't find it financially worthwhile to pursue getting back rent if you move out of state. If this is a low-end place, and it sounds like it is, then they probably won't bother. They can use your security deposit to repair any damages you caused, but they'd have to prove you were responsible for problems they caused due to not maintaining their property.

Unpaid rent doesn't normally go on your credit record.

You have some choices.
1. If you had stayed, the correct procedure would have been to complain about the needed repairs (including spraying for mites and other bugs) in writing. You'd have given them a date by when you expected the repairs to be done, say a week to ten days. Then you'd have withheld rent.

This won't be 100% correct, but you could write that you're moving out because of the maintenance problems and their refusal to work with you. Keep a copy of the letter. Give it to them when you hand them the keys. Then if anything shows on your credit report or some landlord database, you can say you disputed what is owed because they didn't maintain their property.

2. You can just hand them a letter saying you're moving out on whatever date. Say in it that you are unable to pay the rent due to job loss, and that they have refused to work with you to find alternate solutions such as subletting. (Believe me, they will rent the apt. once you're gone.)

3. Just drop off the keys so they know you're gone.

Do not in any case give them a forwarding address. They can't sue you if they can't locate you. If you're moving back home and they have your home address and phone as contact info, make sure your family knows not to let them know you're living there.

You won't be able to use them as a reference.

Once you are working again, when you go to rent an apartment, you can list them and explain why you had to leave or you can claim you lived with someone else. You'll have to decide this.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 10:48AM
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Have you considered consulting Legal Aid?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 11:59AM
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lori59 aid is the way too go, they no all of your options

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 6:07PM
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I think the original poster's long gone on this one....

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 11:12PM
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Sad to hear your situation. Yeah try legal aid

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 4:06AM
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