Key Highlights

  • Rentec Direct released July data showing decreasing number of rent payments over last four months during pandemic
  • Data indicated tenants with online rent payment options more likely to pay rent

When the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak began in March, the number of rent payments received by property managers and landlords has been decreasing. No wonder as massive layoffs and economic upset have negatively impacted millions of workers. And with the majority of Americans spending more than +30% of their income on housing, it makes perfect sense that many people are struggling to stay afloat in terms of their cost of living expenses.

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Using March 2020 as the baseline, rent payments received have dropped by

  • April – -17%
  • May – -19%
  • June – -24%
  • July – -26%

How renters paid their rent, their rent payment method, seemed to just mildly impact rent payments received by landlords and property managers. Tenants who paid rent electronically nationwide were only -1.6% lower than online payments received in March 2020. Compare that -1.6% decline of online electronic payments to the -26% overall decline of rental payments. Clearly, electronic rent payment is substantially more reliable than rent payment in cash or by check.

Rentec Direct found that the number of landlords and property managers who enlisted electronic rent payment options dropped by some -11% from February 2020 to June 2020. In July, that number of online applications for electronic payment options from property managers and landlords was beginning to stabilize.

Clearly, after compiling data from over 620,000 rental properties nationwide, Rentec Direct found that tenants had less ability to pay their monthly rent payments in July than they did in March pre-COVID outbreak, that tenants paying rent online were much more likely to pay their rent than tenants paying by cash or check (close to 25% more likely) and that the number of landlords/property managers who installed online rent payment options dropped by -11% from March to July. We’ll see how many of those landlords and property managers return to online payment options as/if the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the coming months.


Thanks to Rentec Direct.

Also read: Renters Get No Relief from CARES Relief Act, Podcast: What Happens Next For Housing, Economy And You? | Tim and Julie Harris, New Stimulus Package May Come to Light This Week

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