You may not meet HUD standards for housing assistance. However, if you still need help finding an affordable rental home or apartment, there are a few more alternatives to try.
Your fixed income may make traditional apartment hunting options seem impossible, even if you check the most popular apartment listing websites. But there are still ways to get an apartment you can afford. Below are just a few options.
One way to save money on an apartment or house is to share it. Ask another individual, couple, or family to move into an apartment or home with you. That way, you can divide the costs of utilities and other essentials.
Ideally, you may be able to find a roommate or multiple roommates within your family or friend group. You can also use advertisements or social networking to find someone willing to share housing with you.
If you live in an area with a high AMI but your income is comparatively low, consider moving to a new, lower-cost area. See if a nearby county that is still close enough to your friends, family, or work has a different AMI. If so, you may qualify for assistance when living in that county. Alternatively, you may find you don’t need assistance after moving there because you can afford necessities on your own.
Many landlords may be willing to offer lower rent in exchange for services performed around their properties. Consider serving as a property manager for a reduced rent rate. If you have certain skills, you can also ask about reduced rent in exchange for performing services for the landlord based on those skills.
For example, landlords may offer discounted rent if you have the following skills:
- Screening rental applicants
- Installing or maintaining plumbing or electrical wiring
- Carpentry or construction
- Landscaping or lawn care
Most landlords want a tenant who is easy to manage. If you are that type of tenant, you can often negotiate a lower rental price. You can prove you are a responsible tenant by presenting documents like a letter from your previous landlord or proof of employment and income. Excellent credit can also go a long way when it comes to convincing a landlord to give you a discount.
It is usually much easier for landlords to keep the same tenants rather than consistently look for new ones. A typical rental agreement is often for one calendar year. You can request a longer rental agreement in exchange for lower monthly rental payments.
Try to sweeten the deal by offering to pay in cash each month. Your landlord may provide an even larger rent discount, since cash is convenient. It may also prevent you or your landlord from dealing with processing fees charged for electronic funds transfers.