What do we know about rent concessions, evictions, and DFW'ers returning to work?

September 8, 2020 by Ted Bauer

Let's take this one-by-one.

Rent concessions

Almost 39% of DFW landlords are offering some form of rent concession/giveaway/special as of late July, which is big-time up from 22% a year ago at the same time. Among the largest 50 metro areas in the USA, DFW ranks 12th in concessions. We discussed rent concessions in the context of saving money on rent just yesterday. The most common concessions in the DFW area are:

  • Free rent (pro-rated into your contract, normally)
  • Waived/reduced deposits
  • Gift cards
  • Free parking
  • Waived application fee

The median amount of free rent offered in DFW is six weeks, which can get you up to 11% off your totals (see the article linked above). 

Now, one of the interesting elements here is that concessions often come right before price drops. Many landlords and complex owners will offer concessions instead of cutting rent, and when a market picks back up, those effects can linger. We would not expect massive rental price drops in DFW,  but we could see more and more of it.


Evictions have been halted until year's end, which is good because the numbers looked pretty bad in mid-July. There are heady discussions about how to protect the unemployed from evictions come 2021, but the answers aren't necessarily clear. All that said, there's a simple form you can provide your landlord in order to qualify for the eviction extension.

Back to work

About 340,000+ DFW residents lost their jobs (layoff or furlough) because of COVID. The good news is that DFW leads the nation in people returning to work, with 36% of those who lost a job now back to work. For context, NYC is about 12% and the national median is somewhere in the middle -- about 22 to 24%. There are a lot of repercussions to what's happening in this space: first off, if people don't get hired back, that has wide-ranging economic impacts and ties into evictions and rent concessions, discussed above. If people do get hired back, that's great -- but then the question becomes: out of the non-service industry jobs, are we talking about hired back into remote roles? Hybrid roles? That, in turn, has impacts for downtown cores, demographic shifts, commercial real estate, movement of the young, etc.  

If you remember back to the recession of 2008, which did not simultaneously contain a health scare, a lot of "unicorn" companies emerged from that: AirBNB, Uber, Lyft, etc. We will probably see some remote-focused, experience-focused companies emerge from this, but the repercussions might be more societal (changes in where people live, and how they operate day-to-day) as opposed to business-driven. It will be interesting to see play out.



About the Author

Ted Bauer

Ted Bauer is a writer/editor for White Rock Locators focused on as much cool content about the DFW Metroplex rental scene as he can possibly find week-to-week.