Housing landlords are working to provide tenants with options as local rent delinquency rates continue to mount, due to the pandemic and all the related job losses.
And the situation could grow worse in May, according to the Florida Apartment Association.
What happens in the local apartment sectors is important, because more than 401,000 Orlando residents live in apartments, according to apartment data source WeAreApartments, and the operations of the properties contribute $1.5 billion to the local economy.
The Florida Apartments Association still is collecting data for May, but the Orlando-based association’s members are reporting delinquency rates of 15%-30%, compared with a 21% delinquency rate in April, Amanda Gill, government affairs director, told Orlando Business Journal.
Of course, the delinquency rate for a property depends on a number of factors, including how many virus cases there are in the area and how dependent residents are on the tourism industry, Gill said.
Most property owners are working with tenants on payment plans, rent deferment, rent reduction and relief funds, Gill said. These offerings are expected to continue as the economic fallout of the pandemic lasts, but Gill said it could improve if more Florida residents receive unemployment benefits from the state’s struggling system.
Signs of hope
The local rental market isn’t all doom and gloom. Delinquency rates are lower so far in May than they were in April for Lake Mary-based Atrium Property Group LLC, owner Adam Wonus told OBJ. “I was shocked. I was thinking May would be the worst. It still may be.”
Of course, Atrium doesn’t have a clear picture, since rentals at its properties are due on different dates within the first five days of the month. But Wonus said the slow reopening of the local economy may contribute to more tenants paying on time.
Wonus in March started a fund with the help of local property owners to raise money to provide rental assistance to residents. They raised $15,000 spending $7,000 to help 33 families in April, with another $8,000 to spend in May. And they’re still receiving donations, Wonus said.
It’s one of the ways Atrium is working with tenants who can’t pay. There are four plans renters can use to repay rent over an extended period of time without getting slammed with all their missed payments at once.
This has helped keep Atrium’s delinquency rate low. It’s normally below 1% and it was 2.4% in April, Wonus said.
Article by Alex Soderstrom | https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2020/05/06/apartment-managers-deal-with-climbing-delinquency.html?ana=e_me_prem&j=90507271&t=Morning%20B&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWkRjMFlXWTJORE13TTJJNSIsInQiOiIwd3NcL0JicEkwcUpZbjhBVkFWWVpJKzFaaXRzZ3VuUHNwSThpSG96UFR2UGZWTjZrajhyV2lsek9HY2Q1Q2RGXC9vbzBRU0NPeFRSSVkxM21EMXorZUJ0bUgycFA2Skt2cE5wSXVia3RLOUtvK3F6QnphTlpaMGpkK2FiSCtlMGJ1In0%3D