When the beginning of April rolled around with the economy reeling from Covid-19, the question at the forefront of any landlords mind was the same...
"Will my tenants pay rent this month?"
The sudden stalling of the economy that left tens of millions without jobs coupled with moratoriums on evictions made the situation that much more difficult. Sure foreclosures are also on hold, but that doesn't mean the mortgage isn't still due!
Additionally, it's more of the blue collar and service industry workers that have been severely impacted which puts more pressure on lower income rentals (which all of mine are). So it's with that lens that I dive into an analysis of the performance of my portfolio in April. My property managers provide reports and outputs at the end of the month (and one has a couple of tenants on mid-month leases), so this analysis takes a look at the past month in review.
In summary, of the 12 units I currently own there are 10 occupied and 8 of them paid rent in April. That resulted in collecting 79% of expected rent for the month, which isn't fantastic but it's better than I expected given the demographic of most of my tenants! Here's the breakdown by property...
Occupied Units: 2
Tenants Delinquent: 1
Going into the month I knew that one tenant would have an issue paying due to his job shutting down, so I ended up hiring him to paint for me as a part of the ongoing rehab. As a result of the painting he was able to cover his rent, plus an additional $100 credit towards May. He is awaiting his unemployment check as well, so while he will be delayed in paying rent in May he will likely be caught up in June.
The second tenant is one that I will be giving notice to vacate once the Covid crisis ends, and as a reminder of why that's a good idea they didn't pay in April and didn't communicate as to why or what's going on. I expect this to be a problem in May as well.
To be honest, the biggest problem on this property has nothing to do with whether or not the current tenants can pay...it's how long the dang rehab is taking that's preventing me from filling the other 2 units!
Occupied Units: 6
Tenants Delinquent: 1
This was a pleasant surprise! April is the first month that all 6 units were stabilized and rented for market value, and to have only one delinquency is much better than I expected. This tenant has otherwise been trouble free, and has communicated with the property manager that they will be caught up in May.
Occupied Units: 2
Tenants Delinquent: 0
Not only did one tenant pay rent this month, I also had a new tenant move in on April 20! Rents were low due to the property manager's leasing fee, but otherwise everything looks good going into May! This was a pleasant surprise as well, and now that this property is stabilized it looks to be relatively secure moving forward.
Only time will tell the long term impact of Covid and how long we'll see continuing restrictions such as shelter-in-place & moratoriums on evictions, but so far the result has been better than expected.
Looking to the future, there are two big takeaways for you and your portfolio based on what's currently happening:
1. Your ability to weather a prolonged storm is vitally important, regardless of how your portfolio performs! This means making sure you have ample reserves in place, you're not overleveraged, and you have contingency plans. If you've found you're not well capitalized, pour all of your cashflow for the next few months into reserves!
2. If your portfolio has remained solid right now despite the current crisis, take a minute to be thankful and then assess any potential weaknesses. If your tenants haven't been adversely affected by Covid, what situation would be their weakness and what can you do to prepare?
Wishing you all the best in May! Stay safe, and keep those rent checks flowing!