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“The end of the pandemic, but not renter distress” is the headline of a new study from UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the Lusk Center for Real Estate, which found that the rent debt in Los Angeles is substantial. Los Angeles County has $3 billion in total rent debt, and Los Angeles city has about $1.5 million in unpaid rent from the pandemic. Among those with rent debt, the average tenant owes $2,800 in unpaid rent.

The share of renters unable to make payments only worsened as the pandemic wore on. From May to July 2020—near the onset of the pandemic—about 7% of renters did not make a single payment. Likewise, from January to March 2021, the same share, 7%, of renters did not make a single payment. However, the share of renters that made a partial payment increased from 17% in May through July 2020 to 31% in January to March 2021.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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