Explaining the Breakdown of $1 Dollar of Rent

Posted By: Denise Hanzlik Community, Industry,

Because there exists a misconception that rental housing owners enjoy large margins and can continue operating in the absence of rent payments, and with so much discussion around rents during COVID-19, NAA has released resources for affiliates to use to help explain the breakdown of $1 of rent: an explanatory video and companion infographic breaking down a dollar of rent into its component parts.

When discussing with media contacts, there are several points to make to help them understand the importance of rent payments:

  1. To counter conversations centered on rent freezes and rent strikes; to argue against the perception that owners are greedy and are unconcerned about their residents, and to reinforce that the wider community benefits from rents being paid on time and in full, to include how property taxes finance the needs of the community; investors in apartments include public pensions and 401(k)s, on which many Americans rely for their own retirement.
  2. With one-third of renters paying partial or no rent in April, and as unemployment increases, it’s reasonable to expect that this number will rise. In addition to encouraging members to work with their residents on payment plans, it will be to continue to reinforce that the local community and society at-large are beneficiaries of rent payments.
  3. The portion of rent for payroll includes onsite professionals who are always essential workers, more so amid the uniquely challenging environment presented by COVID-19. Apartment residents will suffer if ongoing maintenance, emergency repairs, resident engagement efforts and other critical onsite functions decline or cease.
  4. To reinforce the need for residents who are otherwise financially unaffected to continue to pay rent on time and in full; to join for calls to withhold rent ultimately harms the entire community.
  5. With roughly two-thirds of apartment mortgages backed by private lenders, and therefore ineligible for mortgage forbearance via the CARES Act; mortgage defaults for small- and mid-size portfolios jeopardize the housing of all residents and the future of the industry (as well as terminating investments in bonds backed by those mortgages). With so many small businesses operating rental housing, their futures depend on socializing this information.