With the world constantly changing as a result of COVID-19, it’s important to start thinking about how to find a new place to live, before your current lease is up. The rental market is very volatile at this time, so it’s crucial to be critical when thinking about your next move. COVID-19 is not going anywhere for now, so having an eye on the future is crucial in order to stay top of your living situation.
1. Know your Rights
Almost every state has protections in place against evictions during COVID-19, so your landlord may have to be flexible, whether they want to or not. Also, if you live in a place that is paid for by the government, you can’t be evicted because of the CARES Act. It’s important to know your rights so that no landlord can mislead you, or feed you false information about when and how you have to leave your rental.
2. Speak with your Landlord
Speak with your landlord as soon as possible. They may be willing to extend or renew your lease or they may be able to help you find another rental if they are part of a management company or know other landlords. If you want to extend your lease, some landlords are offering flexible month-to-month lease arrangements and rent forgiveness.
3. Use Online Resources
While landlords can be helpful and may provide sources for finding a new place to live, it’s crucial to use the resources at your disposal. Zillow and Google search are common methods to use, as well. You can also use Craigslist, as they have many sub-sections, and different ways to search within the confines of their website. All the resources you could ever need are all right at your finger-tips.
If and when you find a place you’re interested in, it is important to note that many landlords are still not allowing in-person tours to see their apartments and houses. Instead, 3D or virtual tours have become very popular. Many landlords are not even meeting in person and the entire process has been shifted to be totally done online. With that in mind, it’s important to vet your potential landlord and make sure that everything is valid throughout the entire process. It is easier to get scammed without meeting someone in person so be vigilant and cautious.
Talk to your landlord, first and foremost. Some landlords are offering rent forgiveness, and some are offering payment plans. As long as you know your rights, you can make the right move to find a new place to call home. It may not be the best idea to move during COVID-19, but situations dictate circumstances, and if you have to find a new spot, it’s important to take the right steps. The rental market is in a place where many landlords are barterable - you can negotiate with them, depending on the situation. It’s important to consider all options before diving head-first into making your next move.
Zach Deitz is a freelance Copywriter, living in the Windy City, with his bachelors in Copywriting from Temple University. He loves baseball, a perfect medium rare steak, and satin sheets. He loves to write, and lives to write.
*Contributions are solely guest opinions and don’t reflect the opinions of or are endorsed by WYL, our staff, clients or other interested parties.