Ninety percent of renters made full or partial rent payments as of August 20th, according to the Rent Tracker survey conducted by the National Multifamily Housing Council.
The survey encompasses 11.4 million professionally managed units and is encouraging news for landlords across the country.
However, this August figure does indicate a slowing of rent payments — a 1.3% decrease from July and 2.1% from the same time last year. That number indicates 237,056 fewer renter households were able to make rent payments this month compared to August 2019.
This decrease in rent payments coincides with the expiration of federal unemployment benefits and the lack of other renter protections as negotiations for additional stimulus funds have stalled in Congress.
While the survey shows that tenants continue to prioritize rent, NMHC points out that this is due largely to the relief provided to tenants under the previous stimulus, the CARES Act. That support now has expired, and renters across the country are grappling with even greater financial distress.
“At a time when the country is continuing to face a pandemic and suffering from a recession, lawmakers in Congress and the Trump administration must come back to the table and work together on passing comprehensive legislation in the next COVID-19 relief package,” says Doug Bibby, NMHC President.
NMHC is calling on Congress to extend unemployment benefits and create a rental assistance fund. Otherwise, tens of millions of tenants may default in the coming months.
“The industry remains encouraged by the degree residents have prioritized their housing obligations so far, but each passing day means more distress for individuals and families, and greater risk for the nation’s housing sector. If policymakers want to prevent a health and economic crisis from quickly evolving into a housing crisis, they should act quickly to extend financial assistance to renters,” Bibby says.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.