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Landlords are bracing for a wave of rent defaults

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05/03/2020 07:25 PM
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Landlords are bracing for a wave of rent defaults
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Landlords across the country are anticipating fewer people will be able to pay rent in May than April. But they are even more worried about what comes in the months after.

By the last week of April, rent payments were not too far off from historical averages, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. By then, 92% of the market-rate rental households the council tracks made full or partial payments, compared with 95% who paid by the same time in March -- before coronavirus started shutting down businesses across the US.

With more than 43 million rental households in the US, landlords are increasingly aware of their tenant's uncertain financial security, and with it, their own.

Some landlords have their own mortgage payments to make, or have building staff, maintenance workers and management companies who are now essential workers and still need to be paid. State and local governments will be relying on them to pay property taxes, and buildings may now have increased costs with more cleaning or health considerations due to the virus.