May is shaping up as a clash between renters and landlords, as soaring unemployment could leave millions of tenants unable to pay, and some organizers of rent strikes urge even those with means to hold back.
April rent payments turned out better than expected, landlord representatives said. With the economy still strong in the first half of March—before the worst hit from the coronavirus pandemic—about 9 in 10 renters in professionally managed apartments paid at least some of their April rent, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council, a landlord trade group.
Now, rent for May is coming due after millions of Americans have been unemployed for weeks. Many more are worried about keeping their jobs, and housing activists in at least 15 cities, including New York and Chicago, are organizing rent strikes. They are calling on tenants to withhold May payments in hopes of provoking federal and