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More Than 80% Of Apartment Renters Have Paid May Rent So Far

More apartment renters paid their rent in May than in April, according to early collection data from the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Apartments in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles

As of May 6, 80.2% of apartment households paid all or some of their rent for the month, according to the NMHC Rent Payment Tracker. The organization based its conclusion on a survey of 11.4 million units of market-rate apartments nationwide.

The May survey represents a 1.5% drop compared with the same period as last year, but is higher than the 78% of market-rate rents who had paid by April 6. 

“Despite the fact that over 20 million people lost their jobs in April, for the second month in a row, we are seeing evidence that apartment renters who can pay rent are stepping up and doing so,” NMHC President Doug Bibby said in a statement.

Bibby added that the NMHC expects May payment patterns to largely mirror April, when the payment rate increased throughout the month as renters obtained financial assistance.

In April 2019, 97.7% of renters surveyed managed to pay their rent by the end of the month. A year later, according to NMHC, 94.6% of renters surveyed did so.

The NMHC Rent Payment Tracker, which is updated weekly, draws its data from five specialists in the field: Entrata, MRI Software, RealPage, ResMan and Yardi Systems. The tracker’s percentages are based on total occupied units, excluding vacant units. Non-market units, including student housing, privatized military housing and subsidized affordable apartments, aren't part of the survey.

A separate survey released on Thursday by Apartment List, which includes the payment patterns of both homeowners and renters, paints a slightly worse picture. As of the first week of May, only 78% of both groups combined had made either a full or partial payment, compared with 88% during the first week of April.

Thirty-three percent of renters and 30% of homeowners haven't yet made a full May payment, the survey found, which is up from 25% and 23% at this time in April, respectively.

On the other hand, 7% of mortgage loans are now in forbearance, and 10% of renters surveyed said that their landlord or property manager lowered their May rent, according to Apartment List. Among those who haven't paid their May rent, 40% say they have agreed to terms for reduced or deferred rent with their landlord.