Break the Endless Cycle of Rent Payments

Michael Davis
Published Sep 25, 2023


Renters are facing higher prices with each new lease agreement. If you're tired of renting but struggling to save enough to buy a home, be aware that there are programs available to help you reduce your expenses. By building up some financial breathing room, you can build savings to buy your own home.
 

Reduce Your Utility Bills


If high utility bills are taking a big bite out of your paycheck, call 211. You may be able to get cash assistance to keep the lights on and water working in your home. While many government assistance programs take quite a bit of time, 211 can give you some quick relief.

Take a walk around your home with an eye out for energy drains. As winter comes on, look for ways to warm your body rather than warming your home. Socks and slippers are essential. Make sure windows are closed and locked to reduce air gaps. Consider investing in lined drapes for the windows on the north side of your home. Let the sun help warm things up by opening the curtains to the east the morning, the west in the afternoon and the south all day long.
 

Get Help with Rent


If you know you're going to be late with your rent, don't hide from your landlord. Reach out to them with your estimated payment or partial payment date and meet those promises. Your landlord may ask to inspect the property. Make sure the place is clean and ready for them to confirm that you are taking care of the property.

Evictions can be devastating to tenants and expensive for landlords. Your landlord will have more patience with you being late with your rent if you're obviously doing your best to take good care of the property.
 

Reduce Your Housing Cost


You may be tempted to bring in a roommate. Don't do this without confirming it with your landlord and getting the new tenant on their own lease. If yours is the only name on the lease and your new roommate does damage to the house, you will be on the hook for that damage. Additionally, you may be breaking the terms of your lease. In such an event, the landlord may be justified in evicting you.

Consider the addition of a roommate as a short-term pain. If you can lower your rent by a few hundred dollars for even six months, you may be able to wipe out some debt or increase your savings. Renting to a stranger may be uncomfortable, but if things don't work out, it won't cost you a friendship. If you have a friend who is also looking to protect and improve their finances for a short time, taking them on as a roommate for a short time could help both of you.
 

Consider a Rent to Own Property


The popularity of rental properties has grown a great deal in recent years. Many new landlords may be rather disappointed by the experience. If you've been renting a home for a time and would like to purchase it, it may be a good time to ask your landlord if they would be willing to sell it to you.

Rent to own arrangements can be arranged in different ways. You could

  • pay your landlord as your mortgage holder for a contracted price

  • assume the remaining balance on the mortgage and pay your landlord the difference in cash

  • get a mortgage for the full value of the property and pay a mortgage instead of rent


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If your landlord is not keen on selling you the property at this point in time, do your best to get a 2 year lease the next time you sign. This will show the landlord that you are serious and lock in your monthly rent payment. Once you know what that rent payment will be, you can address your budget and increase your savings.
 

Takeaways


If your housing situation is precarious and you need funds immediately, call 211 for access to local programs. For those who need permanent housing assistance, apply for Section 8 or HUD housing support as soon as possible. Consider taking on a roommate, with the approval of your landlord, to free up cash in the short term. Talk with your landlord about buying the property you're renting.

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