SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Furloughs, layoffs, and reduced work hours are just a few of the effects the COVID-19 pandemic is having on Americans. And if you found it almost impossible to pay your rent for the month of April, you weren’t alone.
With finances taking a plunge in households across the nation due to the crisis, a new survey by Apartmentlist.com found that nearly one-quarter of Americans could not make their April housing bill. While homeowners may have higher incomes and assets than renters, April’s delinquency rate doesn’t dramatically differ between the two. The survey responses indicate that 1 in 4 Americans were not able to pay their April housing bill in full. Half of which made only a partial payment to their landlords or property management companies, while the reminder made no payment at all.
In regards to homeowners, 11 percent made a partial payment on April’s mortgage, and 12 percent did not pay anything.
Fortunately, responses indicate that landlords and lenders recognize the financial difficulty that many are facing in these turbulent times and have in many cases been willing to work with their tenants with deferred payments. In some cases, these concessions are even being offered proactively by property owners and banks.
Eleven percent of all renters indicated that their landlord proactively lowered their April rent. Seven percent of renters asked their landlord for a rent reduction that was approved. Six percent of renters requested to delay their rent payments and had their request approved. Among those who were not able to pay their full April rent, 45 percent received some sort of concession, having agreed to a reduced or deferred rent payment ahead of time.
Mortgage lenders have also designed new programs and policies for those financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey responses indicate that 1 in 10 homeowners with a mortgage is deferring their April payment with no penalty. One in 20 is making a partial mortgage payment and not incurring a penalty. Many others are still in the process of arriving at an agreement with their bank. Among respondents with mortgage obligations, 11 percent are in the process of inquiring about payment deferrals or reductions.
With the recently approved stimulus package, many Americans are set to receive financial boost to help cover costs of essential household needs. It is also assumed those who found difficulty in paying rent or a mortgage for the month of April will use the economic impact payment to make up any missed or partial housing bill commitments.