What happens if you can't pay your rent on April 1 due to pandemic?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- If you can't afford your rent in April due to the coronavirus, you may not get evicted but you could face extra fees.

Taylor Syers' paychecks are about to dry up after she lost her job one week ago due to the pandemic.

Syers applied for unemployment, but it could take a few more weeks before she sees any money.

"Having to think about my bills and having to add everything up," Syers explained. "I'm going to have to owe so much money. It's in my head constantly."

Syers said she talked to her leasing office, but they told her despite the pandemic, rent is still due and late fees will start by the end of the week.

"I want to say it's $10 to $30 a day," Syers explained.

The Houston Apartment Association said you may not be able to avoid late fees, but you can't be evicted through April 19.

"The state hasn't said anything about making it mandatory to waive late fees or anything like that," Houston Apartment Association spokesperson, Starla Turnbo explained. "We don't know what's going to happen with the courts after April 19."

If you're worried about paying rent, experts say try communicating with your landlord.
They offer the same advice to homeowners. Talk to your lender and ask what help is available. Some management companies are waiving fees or creating payment plans.

"Ask what the property management team could recommend," Turnbo explained. "Maybe a resource for assistance to help them pay or any other options the property management team has come up with because they're getting pretty creative."

The Houston Apartment Association said landlords should also contact their tenants to see if they're sick and can't pay or looking to move.

Syers said she doesn't plan on moving, and hopes her unemployment arrives in time.

"Just hope and pray," Syers said. "Just think of anything positive in the meantime."

For more help finding benefits, search the government's benefits website.

You can also explore careers and find information about COVID-19 unemployment insurance on the careeronestop website.

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