Historic number of households fail to pay rent

Many across the country have not paid rent on time or in full for the month of July
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 7:36 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Many have felt the financial effects of the coronavirus, especially in their own homes, with the inability to pay rent.

Robert Hart, a Greenville resident, said he has always paid rent. However, it’s been increasingly difficult with the virus.

“Rent, rent, rent first, that way we always have a place. We may not have lights, water,” he said.

He blames his inability to pay bills on the economic fallout from COVID-19. Hart said it’s stalled his small business of buying, selling, and trading camping gear. Now, he’s just trying to stay above water.

“It’s so bad at this point that I know eventually I’m gonna lose my truck,” he explained.

Hart is in the same boat with many other Americans who are struggling to pay or unable to pay their rent. CNBC reported 32%, almost a third of households have not paid their rent for July yet. This is a historically high number of people either not paying on time or in full.

Landlords like Steve Evans, the owner of Evans Properties Real Estate, said this affects them too. “We’ve had some tenants who couldn’t pay at all so we’ve lost revenue from that,” he said.

Evans said, he’s tried to help people out where he can. “We’ve actually helped some of our tenants by reducing their rent,” said Evans.

However, millions of Americans continue with these struggles and also face evictions down the road. The Aspen Institute predict this could be a reality for roughly 20 million people by September 30th.

With these risks in the coming months and no end to the virus in sight, many tenants are worried and looking at a tough road ahead.

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