“Cancel rent” is a new rallying cry taking hold across the country as tenants say that they cannot or will not pay the rent with unemployment.
Soaring housing activists are also pushing for federal action to freeze all rent and mortgage payments during the coronavirus crisis, but withholding rent has dire consequences for landlords.
The CEO of International Capital Group Adiel Guerrell spoke about his thoughts on the situation.
“There is a cascade effect that if you don’t pay rent, the landlords can’t pay the mortgage, the property taxes, repairs on the property, and so it goes down the chain and can cause a lot of damage.
We did get numbers for April, and that was close to 100% of people that may skip their rent payments. It’s a little bit hard to say what is going on in May because it’s only the beginning, but so far, the numbers are very high.
The unemployment benefits are supplemented by the Federal government by 600 dollars a week or 2500 a month. Because the month is a little more than four weeks, in addition to the regular unemployment, that’s enough to make pretty much as you did before.
In fact, many businesses trying to get back online now are calling employees, and they don’t want to come back to work saying we make more not working than if we go back to work because the unemployment benefits are so good, so in most of the country. So most people should be able to pay rent.”