The difficulty of life expenses has been hitting us all pretty hard since 2008.  We have been able to recover somewhat, but it seems that we are all struggling financially, a bit more than anticipated world wide.  According to the latest TPN figures, we have been seeing a massive (one third) increase in tenants that aren’t able to pay or make full rental payments. This unfortunate trend seems to be continuing and it seems that it will be continuing and getting worst for the foreseeable future.  It is for this reason that we need to know how to act, behave and take control when we can’t make rent the month.

Talk to your landlord

It is essential that you talk to your managing agent or landlord.  It is best to be honest, to the point and understanding to your landlord’s response.  Saying nothing will result to counterproductive actions. Your landlord will become angry, frustrated and eventually put you in a sticky situation.

As a tenant you need to understand that many landlords absolutely need the rent money.  They still have property tax, refuse, water, electricity and a mortgage to pay.  Your rent will contribute to these partially, if not in full.

Are you an A-Start tenant?

A-Star tenants are those perfect tenants that pay on time, pay in full and take well care of the property.  These are typically the tenants that landlords want to keep as long as they can.  It should be noted that most landlords will not simply through you out, especially if you have been an A-start tenant before.

Landlords will be more understanding in giving you the needed time or payment plan if you have shown to be responsible and respectful.  Landlords do understand the value of a good tenant, it takes a while to find them.  An open and honest discussion can lead to a compromise that both parties are satisfied with.  Be sure to leave the discussion with both parties on the same page.

It is understandable if you are going through some financial hiccups, times are tough and the jobs are few.  Your landlord will also understand, be honest and give them an opportunity to help you.

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Written by Lizl Brink, Lizl is copywriter and designer based in Johannesburg, she is also a frequent contributor to the Mafadi blog, and as an Urban investor and rejuvenation shares a passion for urban regeneration, go check out her personal portfolio here
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