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On-Time Collection Rates Dropping for Mom and Pop Multifamily Landlords

The report provides signs of both hope and concern for independent landlords.

By Lynn Pollack | December 28, 2021 at 06:54 AM

A new report is offering real-time glimpses into how well non-institutional landlords are collecting monthly rental payments as the pandemic wears on⁠—and the data reveals that on-time collection rates among independent landlords have now dropped for four consecutive months. On-time payments are at their lowest rate since February 2021, and “some deterioration could still lay ahead.”

The Independent Landlord Rental Performance report by Chandan Economics and RentRedi is unique inasmuch as it tracks a segment of landlords that are underrepresented in leading market samples. In comparison, the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Rent Tracker has a massive sample size of more than 11 million, but exclusively represents the professionally managed segment of the rental housing sector.

Data from mid-November to December “shows signs of both hope and concern,” the report notes, as the non-performance rate, which includes both late and unpaid rental charges, ticked up 18 basis points. Meanwhile, on-time collection rates dipped slightly to 78.1%. The full-collection rate for November rents is at 85.2%, “though this share should continue to rise as some unpaid units will eventually transition to paid late,” the report predicts. And December’s preliminary on-time collection rate estimate dropped by 49 bps month-over-month to 77.6%, the lowest rate since February.

Independently managed single-family rentals⁠—driven by millennials jostling for more space—have outperformed the broader market in recent months, despite entering the pandemic with the lowest on-time payment rates of the property types tracked by the report. SFRs also beat the next best performing property type (2-4 family) by 82 bps, though the latter is the only residential property type to see on-time collection rates rise in December, improving by 45 bps to 77.5%.

The worst property type for on-time collections was small multifamily properties operated by independent landlords, with a one-month change of 100 bps and the lowest on-time payment rate (76.5%) of the three tracked property types. More than 15% of small multifamily units have still yet to pay their rent as of November, the last month for which data is available.

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