COVID-19 May Rent Payment Report: Payments Remain Steady—Multifamily Braces For Uncertainty


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the U.S. economy, apartment operators are paying attention now more than ever to rent payment behavior trends. We’re reporting on May rent payment behavior to provide a clearer picture of how COVID is affecting renters’ ability to pay rent. Below is a brief summary of key takeaways.

May Rent Payments Hold Surprisingly Steady But Renters Face Ongoing Financial Challenges

Overall, full rent payments made on May 1 showed stronger results than anticipated. This is likely due to residents accessing funding sources and prioritizing paying rent, as operators work hard to create payment plans.

That said, the total percent of rent collected during the May grace period was 6 percentage points down from the pre-COVID three month trailing average, compared to a 7 percentage point decline in April.

Class C properties have seen the most notable drop in rent payments, while metro areas including Atlanta and Dallas also experienced a decrease. Evidence of payment plans deepened across Seattle and Los Angeles, proving that apartment operators are still working to provide renter relief in areas that need it most. Despite concerted efforts to support renters, there’s still a critical need for state and federally-funded rental assistance programs.

Our full COVID-19 Rent Payment Report uncovers insights on:

  • Comparisons to April rent payment data
  • Acceleration toward payment plans
  • Trends across major metro areas
  • Behavior and impact by asset class

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