Rent is due; here’s what to do if you can’t pay

Rent is due; here's what to do if you can't pay

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As the calendar turns from March to April, it’s time to pay rent for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak; but with thousands in Kentuckiana out of work, many won’t be able to afford it on the first of the month.

What can people do if they’re stuck in that situation?

To start, call the landlord. Property management companies throughout Louisville are making life a little easier on their tenants.

Sun Residential, a family-owned and Louisville-based company, is offering all 3,000 of their tenants a $200 discount on April’s rent.

“We’re all in this together, and we really wanted to show our residents that we’re really care about them and that Sun Residential is here for them," Vice President Lucy Peterson told WAVE 3 News. "So it was a small thing we could do to assist everybody in this tough time.”

Sun Residential isn’t the only company helping their residents. Brookside Properties sent a note to their tenants, which reads:

“We have extended our grace period from the 1st to the 15th and are not charging any late fees until then. This may even change on the 15th, be we will re-evaluate the situation at that time. We are also waiving all fees normally charged to pay your rent online for all payment types, waiving normal fees and extending the grace period to April 15th.”

Lawyers also recommend tenants check the language of their lease to see if there are options for delayed or partial payment.

Other organizations, like South Louisville Community Ministries, are trying to step up to help those who can’t help themselves.

"Everybody is in crisis at the same time,” Executive Director Clare Wallace said. "So, there’s a lot of people who’ve never asked for help before. So we just get a lot of phone calls right now that are like, ‘This is my situation. Who do I call? What’s next?’”

Wallace has been pointing people to resources while providing advice and encouraging clients who are out of work to file for unemployment, even if it takes a while to process. She’s also been working with property managers in the area by bringing tenants’ concerns to their attention.

Wallace told WAVE 3 News one thing she’s advising against is for tenants not to pay rent at all. Though courts are closed and evictions have been temporarily halted, Wallace said eventually the debt will build up.

“Even though evictions are being postponed, bills are not. And late fees will and can be accounted for. So, you can pay rent, please do pay rent. It’s what we’re trying to get across.”

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