How to Catch Up on Rent So You're Not Evicted

••• Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

From the moment you are late paying your rent, an eviction notice becomes a looming threat. Your landlord has the right to file for an eviction if you are delinquent in paying your rent, giving him the legal authority to remove you and your possessions from the property. You can circumvent this authority by speaking to your landlord and offering a reasonable solution to the problem.

Keep a record of your past rent payments. Include copies of canceled checks made out to your landlord, bank records showing past payments and credit card statements with former payments listed. Avoid paying rent with money you cannot track, such as cash or money orders. Store this information in a safe place, outside of your home. Use a safe deposit box or file in your office to store these papers. Remember, your bank keeps a record of past checks and bank records, and it can produce this information for you.

Speak to your landlord the moment you begin falling behind on rent payments. Explain the situation preventing you from paying rent on time, such as losing a job, medical expenses or an emergency in your life. Offer to work out a payment plan with your landlord, but make your situation clear. For instance, if you just lost your job, explain to your landlord that you lost your job, but that you are already looking for alternate employment. Request an extension on your rent, or suggest a payment plan if you expect to bring in additional money soon.

Look for alternate sources of income, while settling other outside problems. Discuss your situation with friends and family, people who may be willing to lend you money to make it through your difficult times. Be upfront about about the length and size of the loan you need. As an example, if you expect to be out of work for a few months, explain that you will be unable to repay the debt until after you go back to work. Consider other alternatives for generating quick income, such as pawning or selling nonessential possessions.

Call the police if a landlord changes the locks on your home. A landlord must file with the eviction court in your county to have you legally removed from a property. If your landlord does file with the court, take your collected information, showing a history of on-time rent payments, to the court and sign a statement that your current inability to pay rent is a temporary situation. The court can give you a temporary delay before making your eviction active if you can show that you have been a good tenant in the past and are working to overcome the current problem.