As the coronavirus continues to impact the U.S economy, new data shows nearly a third of American renters did not pay their April rent on time.
New data from the National Multifamily Housing Council shows only 69% of U.S. renters paid on time this month, compared to 81% who paid their March rent on time.
"Places like San Francisco and New York likely will see a sooner impact, so their numbers may be lower than other parts of the country where community spread is just starting,” says Caitlin Walter, VP of research with the NMHC.
Renters are more likely to be feeling the pinch of mass layoffs because they tend to have lower income and less stable jobs than homeowners.
But the drop may not be entirely because renters are behind on payments.
"With apartment managers moving to their leasing consultants working from home, some of those checks may not be entered into the system yet,” says Walter, especially with renters who pay by mail. “Some of it could be due to logistical reasons, but certainly COVID is having an impact."
Renters may also be waiting to receive federal stimulus checks and other relief before making payments, so Walter expects more people to pay as the month continues. Many landlords are also working with their tenants to keep them housed by offering flexible payment plans and waiving late fees.