landlords have said that they plan to evict at least one tenant. The most recent pulse survey of tenants by the U.S. Census Bureau mirrors this with 14.7% of tenants responding that eviction is very likely in the next two months, and 26.5% saying it’s somewhat likely. This would represent a stark increase in the likelihood of eviction compared to the pre-COVID rate, which is about two to three percent.
It’s true that some of these tenants who have been saved from eviction would have failed to pay rent in a typical year and are now living on as delinquent beneficiaries of the moratorium. In other cases, though, eviction might not help landlords as much as they think. Eviction is an arduous and costly process, and its profitability as a strategy hinges on replacing the existing tenants who cannot pay rent with those who can pay. If a lot of people are having trouble making payments, it follows that it will be harder than usual to find suitable new tenants. Our data on rental velocity support this idea. The pandemic is not, fundamentally, a liquidity shock or a test of economic faith, even though it does affect landlords in both ways. More largely, the pandemic is a scourge, whose deleterious effects are then reflected in the economy, which will recover as the world recovers and no faster. Essentially, this means that if tenants were current before the pandemic, it stands to reason they will be more likely to recover as the country returns to normal. This idea ties into why communication and screening are so important—it allows you to make an informed decision on your tenants’ employment stability and their efforts to pay rent with regard to a possible eviction. COVID Concessions: A Difference of Opinion There is discrepancy in perception
18 . 2% OF LANDLORDS SAY THEY PLAN TO EVI CT AT LEAST ONE TENANT.
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