Atlanta apartment landlords: Nearly 85% paid May rent

Atlanta apartment landlords reported slightly less than 85% of renters made a payment in May, as businesses including hard hit stores and restaurants slowly start to reopen amid the pandemic.

Here’s a look how other major cities fared, according to real estate analytics firm RealPage Inc.:

  • Denver: 89.7%
  • Austin: 89.1%
  • Portland: 88.1%
  • San Francisco 88%
  • Tampa: 87.2 %
  • Dallas: 87%
  • Seattle: 87%
  • Raleigh/Durham: 86.3%
  • Phoenix: 86.2%
  • Atlanta: 84.9%
  • Charlotte: 84.4%

In the same period last year, 89.6% of Atlanta renter households made their monthly payment. Here’s a comparison between Atlanta and other U.S. cities showing the year-over-year difference:

The percentage of metro Atlanta renters paying in May rose from last month. In April, just 78% paid their lease on time, according to RealPage.

Nationally, owners of top-of-the market, class A apartment projects reported 84.6% of renters paid this month, according to RealPage. High-rise apartment landlords reported 80.8% paid.

Payments were generally less consistent as the properties surveyed became older. Class C apartment landlords reported 73.6% of tenants made their payment this month. Garden apartment projects, which are more common in the suburbs, saw the largest year-over-year decline in rent payments — 5%.

It’s obviously going to be difficult for many Atlantans to pay rent in this economy. The amount of job losses in such a short time is unprecedented. In Georgia, since the middle of March, the state has processed 1.59 million initial unemployment claims, according to the Department of Labor.

Atlanta’s travel and tourism business, restaurants and retail remain the most impacted by social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Hotel occupancy has “dropped like a stone, by anywhere from 49% to 70%,” Atlanta Business Chronicle reported.

Jamestown LP has set aside $50 million to help restaurants, stores and other tenants across its portfolio reopen, sometimes acting as a stopgap until they get funding from the Paycheck Protection Program.

In Georgia, restaurant owners are reopening using social distancing and sanitation guidelines put in place by Gov. Brian Kemp and the Georgia Restaurant Association. Those new safety measures can force owners to make significant changes to the interior of their restaurants. Many are still working through their redesign.

As dining rooms slowly reopen in Atlanta, the drive-thrus here and throughout the country are still churning out orders. Chick-fil-A Inc., which has kept its drive-thru business going, is looking to open a new restaurant at a prime location near Ponce City Market.


By   – Commercial Real Estate Editor, Atlanta Business Chronicle

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