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Can't afford to pay rent after injury, need to move but still owe back rent

Discussion in 'Moving In & Out, Movers' started by BB4321, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. BB4321

    BB4321 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Maine
    My fiance, myself and my 2 year old daughter have lived in our apartment for a year and a half. Recently my boyfriend was injured at work and is receiving $288 in workers compensation. I have to stay home and take care of him and our daughter. He will be out of work for 6 months minimum. We can no longer afford to pay our rent, and are 2 months behind as of July 1st. Our landlord has been patient waiting for us to catch up, but we just absolutely cannot afford to pay. We've tried general assistance and we were denied. I would rather move to a more affordable place before we get evicted, but the problem is I can't afford to pay her before doing so. Is it legal for me to even do this? I feel absolutely horrible and don't know what to tell her, and would work on paying her back once we were able to do so. I would think our landlord would rather us leave while owing money than get more rent racked up and have to go to court for eviction? We have no lease either so we wouldn't be breaking a contract. Is there any advice to give on what steps I can take from here? (I will also add I don't have a car, which was part of another legal issue I previously posted.) This is making it impossible for me to travel to find possible work/help to pay our rent.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You do have a month to month lease. You are supposed to give 30 days notice when you intend to move. Yes, you can move while owing rent, but you may have some trouble finding a new rental as you are apparently lacking income, and the current landlord would certainly tell of your failure to pay if contacted for reference. Yes, it is better to get out before being evicted. Expect the landlord to continue to try to collect from you after you leave and possibly sue you if it drags on too long.

    Hopefully you are managing your finances and cutting all necessary expenses. Cable, cell phones, eating out... All of it is unnecessary. Cut back to only the necessities to save all you can until the luxuries are affordable again.
     
  3. BB4321

    BB4321 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, we have cut back on all expenses. The reason we plan to move is because there are much more affordable places in our hometown with quite small security deposits, closer to stores, more jobs available etc. I would of course, pay her as soon as possible.
     
  4. BB4321

    BB4321 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I don't want her to have to go through the eviction process and lose out on money because of us more than she already has to
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Expect to have trouble finding a new rental. With little or no verifiable income landlords may not accept you, and they definitely won't if they find out you left the last one while still owing.
    While it may sound like a good idea to move it may not be as simple as you think.
    That said, not all property owners check as thoroughly as they should, so you could get lucky.
     
  6. BB4321

    BB4321 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    There's actually a place in central maine, similar to a hotel but they are more like efficiency apartments. You pay weekly with no deposit and can leave whenever you like and it's inexpensive. We have lived there before when our daughter was a newborn and no references are required. I'd just want to live there temporarily, so we can save up and pay our landlord back, get a larger apartment and a car. I'm terrified of her suing but I'm really hoping she understands. We have always been upfront with her
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Approach her and inform her of your ideas.

    Sweeten the deal by telling her you'll sign a promissory note and agree to pay her $20.00 a week for the next six months just to prove to her you're going to keep your word.

    If your friend recovers sooner, or either of you gets work, you'll agree to pay her more.

    If you're honest with her about your recent problem she's probably going to work with you and avoid court for all of you.
     
  8. BB4321

    BB4321 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    She has my security deposit so theres a months rent, and I would of course willingly give it up. She has been nice but I've heard horror stories about her, I'm afraid she will try charging me for things that are not my fault. As it is I have been suspecting black mold, lead based paint and faulty wiring. We were planning to give a notice and move instead of make a fuss with her (before the injury when we had more cash flow coming in) Now we can't afford to stay even if we wanted to. I can hear her now saying none of it is her fault and she wants us to pay for damages.
     

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