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Fewer people paid April rent. Here's how Missouri and Illinois fared.

Nearly a third of U.S. apartment renters didn’t pay any of their April rent during the first week of the month
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — A higher percentage of Missouri and Illinois renters are paying April rents than the national average, landlords and data firms said.

Steve Young, president and CFO of St. Louis-based Deca Realty Co., which manages homes and 1,500 apartment units, said more than 75% of his tenants have paid rent for the month of April, and he's expecting that number to rise to 90%.

In Metro East, Gateway Multifamily, which owns and manages around 362 apartments, has about 15% of rents outstanding or deferred via a payment plan, said Principal Raj Tut.

"We communicated to residents right away that we would not be pursuing evictions and would be waiving late fees if they can show us proof of COVID-19 impacting their ability to pay rent. We came up with payment plans for April rent for those who were impacted," Tut said.

Nearly a third of U.S. apartment renters didn’t pay any of their April rent during the first week of the month, according to data from the National Multifamily Housing Council, a landlord trade group. Jeffrey Adler, a vice president at real estate software firm Matrix, which contributed to the data, said the number was off about 12% from “a normal month.”

After adjusting for factors including office closures, he said the impact was likely in the “high single digits.”

“There is some slower payment of rent, but not yet a critical problem, at least not yet, nationally,” Adler said.

Entrata, which offers software for apartment communities, said initial numbers for April rent payments were “encouraging.”

Using data from its multifamily clients, Entrata calculated that through the first week of the month, 83% of occupied units made their April rent payment. In Missouri, the number was 87%, and 88% in Illinois, it said.

The company said one factor in strong April numbers may be the willingness of property owners to eat the cost of convenience fees for residents who pay rent via automated clearing house (up 4%) or credit cards (up 7%). At the same time, apartment communities have charged far fewer late fees, according to the analysis. Entrata reported $2.9 million in late fees this month, versus more than $5 million for April 2019. Late fees waived increased 56%.

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