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Partial Rent Payments Aren’t Propping Up Collections

Partial Rent Payments Aren’t Propping Up Collections

We’ve been asked a lot about the potential impact of partial payments on rent collections. So RealPage, Inc. examined rent paid versus rent billed by month in 2020 versus the same time in 2019. The results indicate partial payments are not a significant factor, and are not propping up the Rent Tracker from the National Multifamily Housing Council as some have theorized.

The NMHC Rent Tracker looks at the number of households paying rent of any amount, but the trends using the rent collected vs. billed methodology shows remarkably similar results. Both datasets consider only market-rate, professionally managed apartments.

This is a very good indicator that despite some scary forecasts provided by outside groups, there’s only about a 2 percentage point gap from now versus normal on the share of renter households unable to pay rent.

That means the vast majority renter households in market-rate apartments are in good standing as we enter the critical month of August and the potential expiration of federal unemployment benefits. However, this dataset doesn’t consider smaller mom-and-pop rentals, and anecdotal news reports plus the Freddie Mac forbearance reports indicate there could be significantly more stress in that sector.