What Can a Landlord Do If I Don’t Pay Rent?

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Woman Locked Out For Not Paying Rent | www.phillyaptrentals.com

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Once you sign a lease for an apartment, you typically agree to pay rent monthly and on time (usually the 1st of the month).

What can the landlord do if you decide not to pay the rent?

Ultimately, failure to pay rent can lead to eviction (you being kicked out of your apartment) as well as potential long-term damage to your credit and rental history.

What Are The Landlord’s Rights If You Don’t Pay Rent?

If you decide not to pay your rent, here are some things that might happen:

  • Eviction, subject to local laws.
  • Potential damage to your credit score
  • Judgment against you (meaning you still owe the money and the landlord can likely go after current and future assets, including potentially your car, wages, and bank account)

What Happens To Your Credit Record and Rental History?

Apart from the eviction process and the chance of being locked out of your apartment legally, your record will also likely be tarnished. What does this mean?

  • It could become tough for you to find other apartments to rent. This is because your eviction will likely be found by any future landlord who conducts a rental history search.
  • It could hurt you if you intend to take out loans for a car, house, or anything else
  • Potentially lower credit score (read more from Experian)
  • Potentially have a judgment against you stating the funds you owe (searchable on public records)

What Are Your Legal Obligations After Being Kicked Out?

In addition to being kicked out, if a judgment is made against you, you will still remain responsible for payment of back rent.

Moreover, with a judgment in hand, the landlord can, subject to local laws, choose to go after your physical items such as a car, bank accounts, other monies, and potentially even your future wages.

Failure to pay rent on time can lead to substantial current and future financial losses.

What Else Can I Do?

If you are going through difficult times, talk to your landlord (and not at the last minute) to see whether there is a way to work things out amicably. Failure to communicate often makes things worse. Perhaps a payment agreement can be arranged to avoid eviction.

*This article is merely informational and not legal or financial advice of any kind. Talk to a licensed local attorney and financial advisor for financial advice and to see what local laws apply to your situation.


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