In mid-February we sent a survey to over 80,000 active TurboTenant landlords. We have been surveying our landlord and renter base for nearly a year to gain insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their rental process, and identify trends related to rent payments, mortgage payments, debt and income, communication trends, and tenant screening criteria. This is our eighth 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 February 12th through the 16th. Our key takeaways and insights from both landlords and tenants for our February 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:
- 59% of landlords own rental property in cities or urban areas.
- 46% of landlords have a mortgage on all their properties, 24% have a mortgage on some of their rental properties, and 30% have no mortgage.
- 5% of landlords reported they went into forbearance during the pandemic.
- How many units survey respondents own: 1-4 Units – 60%, 5-10 Units – 21%, 11-20 Units – 9%, 21+ Units – 10%.
- 24% of landlords reported that more than 50% of their income is generated from their rental properties.
Key Data Points:
- 58% of renters live in cities or urban areas, 29% in suburban, and 13% in rural communities.
- 60% of renters have an annual household income of less than $50,000 while only 16% reported an annual household income over $75,000.
- 43% of renters had to dip into savings or borrow money to pay their rent in the last three months.
- 23% of renters had to take on debt to cover rent.
Breakdown by State, Unit, and Community Type
- 57% of landlords received full rent payments in February, up two percentage points from January.
- Colorado received the most full payments at 72%, and New York was hit the hardest with 17% of landlords reporting receiving no rent payments.
- Landlords in suburban communities received the most full payments at 65%, and 7-8% 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 67%, and the most missed payments at 13%.
- 28% of landlords who did not receive full rent set up a payment plan with their tenants, and 47% negotiated a permanently reduced rent amount.
- 83% of renters living in urban areas paid their rent in-full – up from the previous three months.
- 84% of tenants are confident they can pay their full rent amount in March, and 82% of renters are confident they can pay their full rent in April – both down from 88% reported in January.
- 17% of tenants paid rent with a credit card, and 6% paid with a combination of cash and credit.
- 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.
- 27% of tenants reported spending more than 50% of their income on rent.
- 60% of tenants reported that texting was the most common communication medium with their landlords, second to speaking on the phone at 46%.
Tenant Screening Criteria
- 36% of landlords have made their tenant screening criteria more stringent, 8% have made it less stringent during the pandemic.
- 65% of landlords require a credit score of 600 or more up four points from the previous month; 11% require a credit score of 700 or more.
- 32% of landlords, down eight percentage points from January, 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.