Make Ends Meet: A guide to apartment living

Published: May. 13, 2020 at 7:20 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - So many people have been affected by the coronavirus. As businesses begin to slowly open back up, getting back on our feet financially will probably take a bit more time. To get through it all will take a lot of communication, information, and a little bit of patience.

Brian Carberry, the managing editor of Apartment Guide, stresses there are some do’s and don’ts if you cannot make ends meet, especially if you are a renter.

“One of the best things you can do is communicate with your property manager as early as possible,” Carberry stressed.

If you can’t pay this month’s rent or you only have a partial payment, communication can make the difference. Remember that your property manager or landlord cannot help you if you do not communicate your situation with them.

“One thing I would not do is just not do anything,” Carberry explained. “Over communication right now is key.”

If you have filed for unemployment but have not yet received payments, or if making ends meet has been much more difficult than you imagined, tell your creditors up front.

“As long as you’re motivated and dedicated to pay back what you owe, in most cases they’ll be able to reach an agreement with you,” Carberry said. “They’re being understanding and offering rent deferral programs or payment plans you might be able to set up.”

The states of Indiana and Kentucky have halted most court proceedings, including eviction and foreclosure proceedings. Anyone who feels they have been unlawfully subjected to eviction and foreclosure proceedings during the ongoing public health emergency should file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division in their state.

“Most places are going to work with you,” Carberry said. “They want you to be happy. They want you to stay in that unit. You know you’re going to have to pay the rent. They’re not going to say you don’t have to worry about May. You can’t live for free.”

Carberry also explained that living in an apartment complex comes with its own set of special circumstances during a pandemic. With students out of school and more people still working from home, you take the risk of not being able to properly distance yourself from others.

“Try to avoid common areas that are open during the middle of the day,” he suggested.

Places of concern may be mailboxes, workout rooms, trash collection areas and complex entrance areas.

“Make sure you’re washing your hands as soon as you get back in your unit,” Carberry stressed.

If neighbors are noisy or not following the rules of social distancing, reach out to management. If you do decide to point out the error of their ways, do it, if possible, without creating any animosity.

“Be nice when you reach out to them and tell them your concerns, because you’re still going to have to live next to that person when this is all over,” Carberry said.

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