Should rent be canceled because of the coronavirus?

Paying rent on the first day of the month can be a daunting challenge for many in the United States even in normal times. The economic impacts brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have turned that ongoing concern into a potential crisis. Stay-at-home orders have shuttered businesses, causing an unprecedented spike in unemployment.

Without money coming in, millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills. Nearly a third of renters failed to pay on time in April. As the outbreak continues, the number of people who cannot make rent is likely to increase.

Lawmakers have taken some steps to address the problem. Many states have imposed temporary bans on evictions, meaning people can’t lose their homes for missing rent payments. The $2.2 trillion stimulus bill passed by Congress included mortgage relief provisions that could allow landlords to offer tenants a break on rent.