SAN FRANCISCO— A high number of San Francisco renters have broken their leases since COVID-19 came about, essentially placing more negotiation power in tenants hands for the future.
According to a new survey from the San Francisco Apartment Association, 7.5% of renters have broken their lease over the last three months, around the time stay at home orders were placed across the state by Governor Gavin Newsom. Such an amount of broken leases can lead to thousands of empty rental units.
In a report by Zillow, a tool used to help hopeful renters and owners in finding homes, 2.7 million U.S. adults, mainly those 18-25 years of age, broke their lease to move in with their parents beginning in March and April, the first months where COVID-19 effects were seen and heard of the most.
Generation Z, or those aged 18-25, as small of a group as they can be when making up the San Francisco market, could cost landlords $15.4 million this year alone with broken leases, according to Zillow.
Although tenants have the right to break their lease at any moment, landlords can still come after them for fees, even if only the deposit is kept. The only location to have passed legislation that allows tenants the ability to break a lease as a result of COVID-19 has been Solano County.
Rent for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco has gone down by 9.2% since June of last year, according to Zumper, a real estate search company. The real estate search company has been recording such data since 2015 and states this is the biggest decline they have recorded.