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Q: I have been unable to pay my rent in full, or even at all, during some months of lockdown.

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I am worried that my landlord will evict me. He is not an unfair person but I know he needs the money too. What can I do, both to help myself and my landlord, who has become almost a friend?

A: While being unable to pay the rent might feel very frightening, feeling isolated and alone is even more daunting.

Honest and open communication will foster empathy and understanding, and may help to generate solutions.

All role players along the chain need to embrace “commercial ubuntu”. This is not a time for parties to take advantage of each other.

If conflict is looming, it helps to consult someone not emotionally involved, such as a managing agent or attorney who specialises in eviction law. They will help all parties to arrive at an acceptable outcome. – Simon Dippenaar, director at Simon Dippenaar & Associate

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