Colorado landlords group says more tenants made rent for May than for April

Members of the Colorado Apartment Association had worried about the impact of the novel coronavirus.

An apartment building near Cheesman Park. May 7, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

An apartment building near Cheesman Park. May 7, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Donna Bryson. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

According to a survey of 84 apartment management companies across the state, nearly 90 percent of tenants paid the rent in full by May 5, up from about 84 percent who had paid within the first few days of last month. And a company that offers digital support to mom-and-pop landlords found a similar trend in its own survey.

Concern about the economic impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak has led to calls for a rent freeze, and to the Colorado Apartment Association contributing to a rent relief fund.

“April turned out to be a good month for rent collections and, now, May is off to even a stronger start,” Mark Williams, executive vice president of the Colorado Apartment Association, said in a statement accompanying the release of his trade group’s survey on rental payments.

Williams said members of his association had worried more people would have more trouble paying in May than in April because of the shutdown imposed to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“This shows that, despite concerns about May, the financial impact has not been as severe as anticipated,” Williams said.

For the survey, the Colorado Apartment Association collected data from 84 apartment management companies with portfolios ranging from 20 to more than 20,000 units. In all, the survey covered 137,719 apartments across Colorado.

In a separate study, the online company Avail surveyed 178 landlords, 68 of them with just one unit, and 577 renters in Colorado who were identified through the Avail database. Avail found that 80 percent of renters paid April rent in full, and just over 91 percent paid their May rent in full. Landlords can use Avail for such services as advertising units, signing lease agreements and collecting rent online.

Gov. Jared Polis in late April issued a statewide ban on evictions and late fees during the COVID-19 emergency.

“There will be no evictions for lack of payment for May, just as there have not been for April,” Polis said at an April 29 press conference.

But he did not say rent could go unpaid, so missed rent bills could stack up and help landlords make cases for evictions once the emergency is over.

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