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caption: Delaney Wysingle rents out two properties in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood
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Delaney Wysingle rents out two properties in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood
Credit: Delaney Wysingle

After briefly catching up, Washington's renters fall behind again

About 1 in 10 renters weren’t able to pay their rent for May. That's according to a new survey by the Washington Multifamily Housing Association.

The numbers have some landlords worried.

Delaney Wysingle is a landlord with two rental properties on Beacon Hill. When he saw how many renters couldn’t pay in May, he had this thought: “Well, I see it as a lot of people not communicating, quite frankly. There are bills that still need to be paid.”

Wysingle wants his renters to understand his expenses. For example: he has one unit torn up for a major remodel.

“I’m at a point of no return and I have to finish, cause I have too much outlay in it to stop,” he said.

Outside of being a small landlord, Wysingle works 9 to 5 at a casino, or at least he did until he was laid off due to the pandemic. He estimates that before he was laid off, a third of his income came from rent.

Now, those renters are keeping him above water. So far, they're still paying.

Last month, a similar number of Washington renters couldn’t pay at the beginning of the month. But later in the month, more than half of them had caught up.

Percentage of Washington renters behind on rent, by date:

  • 3/30/2020: 4.54%
  • 4/14/2020: 10.56%
  • 4/30/2020: 4.30%
  • 5/13/2020: 9.60%

The Washington Multifamily Housing Association credits the federal government's $600 a month in relief funds with helping renters catch up on rent last month. But with that federal assistance set to end in July, the organization said renters and landlords would both experience hardship this summer.