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Mid-Market Multifamily Rent Collection Looks Solid In May


Many apartment owners began worrying in March that the pandemic would empty out their bank accounts as millions of newly unemployed tenants skipped rental payments. But the multifamily industry’s worst fears have so far not come true. More than 90% of the 11.4 million households surveyed nationwide paid all or a portion of their May rent by May 20, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s monthly rent tracker.

Surveys of Chicagoland show similar numbers, at least for mid-market multifamily properties on the North Side and in the suburbs.

According to Essex Realty Group, 86% of Chicagoland multifamily property owners and managers surveyed collected more than 90% of the rent owed for May, while another 10% collected between 80% and 90%, a higher rate than Essex recorded for April.

Those surveyed are responsible for more than 35,000 units, most in Class-B and Class-C buildings across the North Side of Chicago and the suburbs, with a small percentage on the city’s South Side.  

The ability of so many tenants to keep paying rent surprised many landlords. When Essex asked the group in April to predict how much they would collect for the following month, 37% anticipated more than 90%.

Confidence seems to be growing. In April, 24% predicted collections of more than 90% for June, but when asked the same question one month later, the number jumped to 76%.