Here’s what to do if you can’t pay your rent due to coronavirus pandemic

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — It’s the beginning of the month and that means rent is due.

But if you’re one of the millions of Americans who have lost their job as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, you may be struggling to make your rent payment.

Brian Carberry, managing editor of Apartment Guide, said communication is key.

**Read more stories on the coronavirus pandemic

“First thing you really need to do is have a conversation with your landlord,” he said during a live interview on FOX 8 News in the Morning.

“If you’re going to have a situation where you don’t think you can make your rent in May, let your landlord know,” Carberry said.

He said it’s important to let your landlord or property manager know what you can afford.

“If you can pay half of your rent right now, if you just need an extra week to pay your rent, whatever it might be,” he said. “A lot of property managers and landlords are willing to work with their tenants.”

He said you may be able to reach a rent deferral agreement or rent payment plan.

“Just remember to be courteous, be kind, and remember where they are coming from,” Carberry advised.

He said many landlords own just one or two rentals, or a small building, and depend on monthly rent to make their mortgage payments as well.

During the pandemic, it’s unlikely you’ll be evicted.

“Right now you do have some rights that landlords aren’t going to be able to evict you right now,” he said. “That doesn’t mean you can live rent free.”

Carberry said you still need to pay your rent or make a payment arrangment with your landlord.

“You do have some flexibility. You don’t have to worry about packing your bags right now,” he said.

He advised against taking out a loan or paying with a credit card unless you can make a payment in the near future.

“It’s just going to cause more trouble for you down the road,” he warned.

Click here for more advice on what to do if you can’t make your rent payment.

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