So you find yourself in a bind, jobless and going to be late in your rent payments...so what are you to do?

Essentially, you can put yourself in a rent-free scenario by try to create a position for yourself as:

a) The Apartment Manager. Many apartment complexes have a reserved unit for the manager to live in with his family. I had a friend from Argentina who put himself through medical school as a manager for the University campus apartment complex.

b) Anyone going on extended vacations all the time, like a retiree who goes south for the

Winter? Instead of renting, he or she might want to have someone reliable house-sit his apartment for him and you could live there rent-free for 3-6 months. A Temporary measure that could work for you until you can re-establish your situation.

c) You could also try to exchange work around the build in exchange for free rent. The work could be maintaining the grounds, cleaning, snow removal, general maintenance or janitorial work. The owner might want to replace expensive maintenance services.

You could also volunteer to collect rents, showings and doing repairs.

Check out your newspaper for classifieds that might be seeking for house-sitters or maintenance people. You may be able to negotiate a nice set up for yourself which can include free rent. Also do searches under "house sitters" on Google for the same purpose.

You can also check with your friends and family and see if any distant relative might need a house-sitter for a while. Remember, most people will expect something in return such as labor in exchange for free rent. You may also need to show yourself as trustworthy before you can be trusted with the keys! One way to do that is by having verifiable references with names and phone numbers of people whom they can call.
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