Fans of the classic comedy series “The Abbott and Costello Show” may recall a running gag where the zany stars were routinely months behind in their rent. Today, life is imitating classic comedy with nearly 8 million people in a household that has not caught up on rent payments.
According to a new data report from LendingTree (NASDAQ:TREE), 8,070,524 people ages 18 or older – or 13.7% of the nation’s adult renters – are behind on rent payments. Nationwide, 3.56 million adults — or 5.81% of adult renters — are living in a household that doesn’t pay rent.
New York, Nevada and Louisiana have the largest share of adults behind on rent, where an average of 19.72% of renters are missing payments. Mississippi, West Virginia and Alaska have the largest share of people living rent-free, with an average of 13.21% of adults live in renter-occupied households that aren’t paying rent.
But this has not stopped landlords from raising rents. LendingTree reported that 53.03% of renters across the U.S. saw their rent increase over the past 12 months, with most reporting increases between $100 and $249 a month.
“Keep in mind that those living rent-free aren’t adult children living at home with parents who don’t charge rent,” said LendingTree’s Senior Economist Jacob Channel. “Instead, they’re living in households where nobody owns the home or is being charged rent. For example, people in these types of households could be caretakers provided their home rent-free in exchange for their services. In other words, people in these types of households aren’t living rent-free because they’re behind on rent; rather, they’re living rent-free because their household isn’t being charged rent.”
Well, at least those owing back rent aren’t trying to pull an Abbott and Costello-style math routine regarding their overdue payments!
I’m not being mean but I am being realistic. Some, not all mind you, need to learn some serious budgeting skills. The latest and greatest phone and trips to Starbucks and McDonalds are not necessities. I know people that get their paychecks or entitlement checks and go get new tats and phones and take their kids to MDs and in one week all of that is gone. They pay themselves first and then nothing else gets paid. We as a society have forgotten what parents did 50 years ago, at least what mine did. There was a budget for rent, food, insurance, fuel to get to work and utilities. We did not get the latest and greatest and we only went out to eat maybe once a year, mom and dad cooked. And my dad and mom saved anything else for things we might need later for school, birthdays and our future home. We didn’t feel deprived. We had a good life with a nice roof over our heads, a warm home, decent clothes and ate well. All within a soldiers budget. Which wasn’t much. And yes rent has gotten outrageous but so has spending.