SAN FRANCISCO—A high number of San Francisco renters have broken their leases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic placing more negotiation power in tenants hands for the future.
According to a new survey from the San Francisco Apartment Association, 7.5 percent 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, 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 the most.
Generation Z or those between the ages of 18-25, as small of a group making up the San Francisco market, could cost landlords $15.4 million in 202 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 percent since June 2019, according to Zumper, a real estate search company. Zumper has been recording such data since 2015 and states this is the biggest decline they have recorded.