In the immortal words of the late, great Kenny Rogers, "You got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em." If there's simply no way that you can afford the rental, even with a payment plan, it's probably not worth being dragged through a formal eviction. You might think that a drawn-out court proceeding will at least buy you some time, but that's not the case.
"Eviction cases go very quickly through the courts, almost as fast as a criminal case, and certainly faster than any other civil case," says Portman. "And most people don't want an eviction on their record. That's the kiss of death."
That's why in the vast majority of cases, Portman says that tenants who receive a formal three-day or five-day termination notice (to pay up or leave) will just pack up and leave.
On the other hand, one reason that eviction cases are prosecuted so quickly is because the formal eviction process is so tightly regulated. Every state has its own eviction laws, but most of them require the landlord to serve notice to the tenant during every step of the process. If your landlord is new at this and tries to save money by not hiring a lawyer, you could be in luck.
"Landlords who try to do it themselves often screw it up," says Portman.
The bad news is that even if the landlord messes up the first time, they likely won't make the same mistake twice. It's important to recognize when the writing is on the wall and to avoid a formal eviction at all costs.
A landlord can also give you a "Unconditional Quit Notice" where you must leave immediately with no chance to pay up the rent (depending on the state you're in), but that's usually only if you've violated terms of the lease, such as damaged the property or sold drugs from it.