Over one third of Americans didn’t pay rent by April 5, triggering fears of what could be ahead for May and beyond, according to data from a landlord advocacy group.
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) analyzed data on Wednesday (April 8) from 13.4 million units nationwide and found that although 69 percent paid April’s rent on time, that is down from 81 percent in March, according to the group.
Laws stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic will temporarily protect renters from eviction, but real estate experts and analysts are concerned about what this means for the future. Between lagging stimulus payments, more job losses, stay at home orders and no end in sight, next month could be even worse.
Doug Bibby, the group’s president, said this could be disastrous for many rental property owners. “If the rent payments drop off significantly, they won't be able to pay their staffs, they won’t be able to pay their mortgages, they won’t be able to pay their utilities,” Bibby told NPR. “They won't be able to pay the managers who manage their properties for them.”
The group, based in Washington, D.C., plans to update its rent payment tracker on a weekly basis with new data released every Wednesday.
Housing advocates are asking for more help to assist renters during the pandemic. “We need the federal government to step in,” said Shamus Roller, executive director of the National Housing Law Project. “I don’t understand why we think that somehow tenants are going to be able to make their payments on time when we don’t expect that of anybody else right now.”
The latest research indicates that many Americans are just getting by and have almost no savings. New data from PYMNTS shows that about six out of 10 U.S. consumers now report living paycheck-to-paycheck, and almost half have less than $2,500 in savings.