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 management to forgive or defer rent to help those affected by the pandemic. Although rent forgiveness even became a political talking point in several national campaigns, most managers cannot afford to simply forego charging rent.
At the same time, both management and renters appear to understand the challenges each other are facing and are working hard to be flexible, according to the study. Around 37% of renters indicated that management had waived late fees since COVID- 19 set in, and over 66% took advantage of the opportunity to pay rent later in the month. Overall, only 18% of renters indicated they were unhappy with their management’s response.
COVID-19 EXPOSES RENTERS’ DEEPER CONCERNS WITH PERSONAL FINANCES
Few people escaped the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic without scars. Even those who did not have to reckon with the actual virus still found themselves making urgent decisions about finances and lifestyles. Among renters, nearly 80% significantly cut their regular spending.
Many renters reported not having much in the way
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of savings, which could be a more significant long- term concern than the pandemic. Nearly 40% had less than $1,000 in savings and 20% said they didn’t have any savings at all. It should not come as a surprise, then, that 22% of renters in the past six months requested a postponement or cancellation of rent due to COVID-19, and 17% were unable to pay their rent.
Though the rental community is facing unique challenges right now, I am encouraged by the willingness of apartment owners and operators and America’s renters to cooperate as recovery efforts are implemented. I am optimistic that despite the pandemic, we will see continued stabilization in the industry as we bring a close to this year and move forward into 2021.
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         APARTMENT AGE • JANUARY 2021 103





























































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