Chicago Case Study Examines How Small-Scale Landlords Responded to COVID-19

A new study from the American Bar Foundation, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Small Rental Property Management: Insights from a Chicago Case Study,” examines small-scale landlords’ business practices and how their approaches to property management changed during the pandemic. Through in-depth interviews, the study assessed whether COVID-19 potentially threatened the sustainability of small rental properties (SRP), which make up a large share of the country’s naturally occurring affordable housing. The researchers found that while most landlords continued using accommodating approaches to property management during the pandemic, nearly one-fifth of those interviewed indicated they would adopt fewer flexible approaches as a result of financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. These approaches included raising rent, instituting fees, and adopting more formal tenant-screening criteria.

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