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Rising Rents Are Pushing More Tenants Past the Breaking Point

  • Almost 20 percent of those surveyed struggle to pay the rent
  • Cities rocked by foreclosure crisis still see higher evictions
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Photographer: David McNew/Getty Images

Rents have increased rapidly across U.S. housing markets as the share of renting households has risen faster than the number of new units. Now, in a survey published Thursday by an apartment-listing service, nearly one in five respondents reports struggling to make the monthly payments.

While big landlords seem to be succeeding at finding tenants who can keep up, the survey, by Apartment List, suggests escalating housing costs may be straining renters’ resources. Eighteen percent of respondents couldn’t pay the full rent due in at least one of the past three months, according to the poll of 40,000 renters. Of those who have registered for the listing site this year, 3.3 percent said they had been evicted in the past, up from 2.8 percent in 2015.