Renting property to the silver generation
- 4th August 2023
- Landlord Property News
A guide for Landlords on catering to the needs of older tenants
As the property market continues to evolve, it's essential for Landlords and investors to adapt to the changing needs of their potential Tenants. One demographic that has been gaining traction in the rental market is the older generation. According to the latest English Housing Survey 2021 to 2022, the number of those aged 55-64 living in the private rented sector has risen in the last decade from 7% (252,000 households) in 2011-12, to 11% (477,000 households) in 2021-22.
Changing lifestyles are playing a part too. According to one survey, 25% of those aged 80 or above said their views on renting had changed during their retirement years, with companionship and financial freedom cited as being key. Below, we'll explore all the reasons why older people might consider renting over buying, why it's a good idea to target older tenants, and what Landlords should consider when renting to this age group.
Why individuals later in life might consider renting over buying
a) Flexibility: One primary reason older individuals may opt for renting is the flexibility it offers. Many older people prefer not to be tied down to a long-term commitment, especially if they plan to travel or downsize in the future. They may wish to move closer to grandchildren to help with childcare through the early years, but then decide to move to the country or the coast for their retirement years. Renting provides them with the freedom to change locations or living arrangements without the burden of property ownership.
b) Equity release: Almost three-quarters of people aged 65 years and over in England own their home outright, according to the Office of National Statistics. Although this means they will not be paying a monthly mortgage rate, it also means that all the money they have invested into making home improvements and paying off their mortgage is tied into the property. The only way to release this is via an equity release mortgage, or by selling their property. Although renting might be more costly on a monthly basis compared to a mortgage, having access to the equity that was previously inaccessible is often more appealing.
c) Ongoing financial considerations: For some seniors, the ongoing financial aspect plays a crucial role. Renting eliminates the need for a substantial upfront investment and ongoing maintenance costs associated with owning a property. It allows them to allocate their funds towards other expenses such as healthcare, leisure activities, and enjoying retirement.
d) Minimal maintenance responsibilities: Aging individuals may find it challenging to handle the physical demands of maintaining a property. Renting eliminates the need for regular upkeep, as maintenance responsibilities typically fall on the Landlord. This convenience is highly appealing to older tenants who value a hassle-free living experience.
Why targeting older Tenants can be beneficial
a) Stable and responsible Tenants: Older tenants often have stable incomes, established lifestyles, and a greater sense of responsibility. They tend to treat rental properties with care, making them reliable and low-risk tenants.
b) Longer tenure: Older renters often seek stable, long-term housing solutions. Once they find a property that suits their needs, they are more likely to stay for an extended period. This can reduce tenant turnover and void periods, providing a stable rental income for landlords.
c) Respectful of property rules: With the benefit of their life experience, you can expect older tenants to report any issues promptly. They might also be more likely to request repairs and adaptations. They’re typically quieter than younger people (so they are less likely to disturb the neighbours), and may be more respectful of the place they live in.
What Landlords should consider when renting to older Tenants
a) Accessibility and safety: Older tenants may have mobility challenges or other physical limitations. Ensure that the property is accessible and equipped with safety features such as handrails, non-slip surfaces, and well-lit pathways.
b) Age-friendly amenities: Consider incorporating age-friendly amenities such as ramps, easy-to-use locks, lever taps and door handles, as well as grab bars in bathrooms. These additions can significantly enhance the appeal of your property to older renters.
c) Communication and understanding: Maintain open and respectful communication with older tenants. Be patient in addressing their queries and concerns, taking their unique needs into account.
d) Lease Terms and Renewals: Offer longer tenancy terms to cater to the preference for stability among older tenants. Consider providing the option for flexible tenancy renewals to accommodate potential changes in their circumstances.
e) Technology: While older individuals are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, it's essential to ensure that any necessary technology in the property is user-friendly and comes with clear instructions.
f) Allowing pets: One of the proposed changes from the Renters (Reform) Bill is that all tenants will have the right to request a pet in their rental property (something that older tenants might particularly appreciate for companionship). These requests won’t be able to be unreasonably refused by the Landlord, however, Landlords can insist that the tenant takes out pet insurance to cover any damage to their property.
In conclusion, renting property to the older generation can be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Older tenants often seek flexibility, convenience, and a safe living environment, while landlords can benefit from stable, responsible, and long-term occupants. By considering the unique needs of older renters and providing age-friendly amenities, landlords can create an attractive proposition that appeals to this growing demographic in the rental market.
Here at ludlowthomson, we can help Landlords find the right tenants (of any age group) and market your property to attract the best possible rents. We can also take care of the day-to-day management of your property or portfolio. Contact your local branch today to find out how we can help.
FREE & INSTANT PROPERTY VALUATION
IN JUST 60 SECONDS