In mid-January, we sent a survey to over 80,000 active TurboTenant landlords. We have been surveying our landlord and renter base for almost a year to gain insights into not only how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their rental process, but also to identify trends related to rent payments, mortgage payments, debt and income, communication trends, and tenant screening criteria. This is our seventh survey in our series on COVID-related landlord and tenant topics. We will continue to publish insights and data through 2021. This survey was conducted between January 22nd through the 27th. Our key takeaways and insights from both landlords and tenants for our January survey are highlighted below. You can read the summary of our data from 2020 in our State of the Rental Industry Report.
Landlord and Renter Demographics
Below we have outlined high-level demographic information for landlord and renter respondents related to location, unit size, forbearance, annual household income, and savings.
Key Data Points:
60% of landlords own rental property in cities or urban areas.
46% of landlords have a mortgage on all their properties, 25% have a mortgage on some of their rental properties, and 29% have no mortgage.
94% of landlords reported they have not gone into forbearance during the pandemic.
How many units survey respondents own: 1-4 Units – 62%, 5-10 Units – 19%, 11-20 Units – 9%, 21+ Units – 10%.
Key Data Points:
57% of renters live in cities or urban areas, 30% in suburban, and 13% in rural communities.
51% of renters have an annual household income of less than $50,000 while only 3% reported an annual household income over $150,000.
19% of renters had to take on additional debt to cover rent expenses.
31% of renters had to dip into their savings or emergency fund to cover rent.
Breakdown by State, Unit, and Community Type
55% of landlords received full rent payments in January, up one percentage point from December.
Colorado received the most full payments at 73%, and New York was hit the hardest with 20% of landlords reporting receiving no rent payments.
Landlords in suburban communities received the most full payments at 58%, and 8-10% of landlords in urban, suburban, and rural communities reported no rent payments.
Independent landlords with 1-4 units received the most full rent payments at 64%, and the most missed payments at 14%.
37% of landlords who did not receive full rent set up a payment plan with their tenants.
81% of renters living in urban areas paid their rent in-full – up from the previous two months.
88% of tenants are confident they can pay their full rent amount in February and March – up from 84% in November.
33% of tenants paid rent through a money transfer while 31% paid in cash.
12% of tenants with household incomes of less than $50,000 were unable to pay their rent along with 7% of tenants with household incomes of over $75,000.
24% of tenants reported spending more than 50% of their income on rent.
58% of tenants reported communication with their landlord has stayed the same during the pandemic, and 33% said in-person messages were their primary means of communication.
Tenant Screening Criteria
34% of landlords have made their tenant screening criteria more stringent, 6% have made it less stringent during the pandemic.
61% of landlords require a credit score of 600 or more; 12% require a credit score of 700 or more.
40% of landlords, similar to previous months, reported they had to lower their monthly rent amount in order to fill a vacancy.
We will continue to survey renters and landlords and update this data every month. If you have data requirements that are outside the scope of this article, please email [email protected]. We have ongoing data collection and are happy to supply another data set if it is available. Check out all of our COVID-19 landlord resources here.
If you are in the process of filling your properties, TurboTenant can help streamline your rental process with easy and free online rental applications as well as thorough tenant screening so you can find the best renter for your property.