Apr 8, 2020 - Health

Roughly one-third of U.S. apartment renters didn't make April payments

Apartment building.
Photo: DeAgostini/Getty Images

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, nearly one-third of apartment renters in the U.S. didn't make their April payments, according to numbers from the National Multifamily Housing Council and a group of real-estate data providers.

By the numbers: 69% of tenants paid some rent between April 1-5, down from 81% in the first week of March and 82% in April 2019.

The data comes from 13.4 million apartments analyzed by several real-estate data firms. People who only paid a portion of their rent were included among those who paid. The data does not count single-family homes, and the apartments tallied exclude public housing and subsidized affordable housing.

Why it matters: The numbers shed new light on the economic hardships the COVID-19 outbreak has brought on Americans. The due dates for most rental payments came the same week as a record 6.6 million people filed for unemployment — a number that eclipsed the 3.3 million who filed the preceding week.

The impact: Some renters will be temporarily protected from eviction for unpaid rent by a collection of federal and local laws.

  • But, but, but: Many real-estate analysts speculate that unpaid rent could snowball to cause commercial mortgage defaults, terminating investments in bonds backed by those mortgages, the Wall Street Journal notes.
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