Demographics of Renters in Rental Housing Units
Rental housing units are owned and managed by individual investors, sometimes known as “mom and pop” landlords. These landlords are responsible for nearly 14.3 million rental properties. There are also millions of rentals managed by businesses and collectives. The majority of renters in the United States are renters. They account for nearly one-third of all households. In particular, young people and low-income households are much more likely to rent.
There are two major types of landlords: individual investors and for-profit business owners. While the numbers are not precisely the same, these are the groups with the greatest number of rental units. For example, the Census Bureau counts 48.2 million single-family homes and rental units, and 16.7 million multifamily residential properties.
Individual landlords own about 41% of all rental housing units. Individuals and businesses account for a larger percentage of units than nonprofits. Many renters are young adults and racial and ethnic minorities. It is important to remember that a large number of individuals are renting because they cannot afford to buy. Also, the economic environment influences the success of landlords.
Renters in the United States are also impacted by supply constraints. The average cost of operating a rental unit is $4,600 to $5,400 per year. A typical monthly cost can be as high as $383 to $450.
Among those who own and manage their own rental property, the largest share are white, non-Hispanic householders. Although these are the largest share of households, they are not the only demographic who rely on rental income. Nearly half of the tenants in a rental property are under age 35, and a third are aged 45 to 54. This demographic is especially vulnerable to evictions.
A majority of landlords are also at least 35 years old. Some are even graduates of college. Approximately 44% of landlords do not manage their own property. Nevertheless, these landlords help provide affordable housing. More than half of rental properties have mortgages.
Renters are also a key component of HUD’s work. Tens of millions of renters spend more than 30 percent of their annual income on rent. As a result, they are often among the most heavily impacted demographics by evictions. Evictions can be the result of a lease violation or catastrophic damage. However, it can also be a result of a tenant leaving early on their lease.
While landlords are responsible for providing affordable housing, the economic and social conditions of the region are important to their success. Economic conditions influence the strength of the housing market, which in turn affects the vacancy rate.
Despite their importance, research into landlords has been lacking. As a result, policy makers are in a policy blind spot. Consequently, lack of supply of rental housing units has remained a major problem.
Recently, the White Plains Common Council passed a set of significant changes to the Affordable Rental Housing Program. These changes will help ensure that more rental housing units are available to the residents of the region. The council also directed staff to continue making policy changes.