The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) found that 89 percent of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by April 19 in its survey of 11.5 million units of professionally managed apartment units across the country, up 5 percentage points from April 12.
NMHC’s Rent Payment Tracker numbers also examined historical numbers and found that 93 percent of renters made full or partial payments from April 1-19, 2019, and 93 percent of renters in March 1-19, 2020. The latest tracker numbers reflect a payment rate of 95 percent compared to the same time last month. These data encompass a wide variety of market-rate rental properties, which can vary by size, type and average rental price.
“It is encouraging that apartment residents continue to meet their rent obligations whether that’s with the support of the federal relief funds, credit cards and alternative, flexible options provided by the industry’s owners and operators,” said NMHC President Doug Bibby. “But their financial security is unclear as many may not qualify for federal relief, while others are drawing down savings and facing greater financial challenges, including higher health care costs. For that reason, lawmakers need to act now to enact a direct renter assistance program.”
“We are committed to working with our residents as federal relief funds begin flowing,” said David Schwartz, NMHC Chair and CEO and Chairman of Chicago-based Waterton, “But that is happening on very different timetables across the country as states struggle to keep up with unemployment that approaches Great Depression levels. While April rent payments were better than anticipated, clearly, there are significant macroeconomic risks that require lawmakers to provide residents with the resources they need for household essentials such as food, shelter and healthcare.”
The NMHC Rent Payment Tracker metric providers insight into our residents’ financial health over the course of each month, and, as the dataset ages, between months. However, noteworthy technical issues may make historical comparisons imprecise. For example, factors such as varying days of the week on which data are collected; individual companies’ differing payment collection policies; shelter-in-place orders’ effects on residents’ ability to deliver payments in person or by mail; the closure of leasing offices, which may delay operators’ payment processing; and other factors can affect how and when rent data is processed and recorded.
Total unit counts may change as units are leased or vacated and survey methodology is refined.