Landlords Ready to Splash Cash for Older Tenants

Landlords are adapting privately rented homes to cope with the needs of older tenants as the number of middle-aged and elderly renting homes increases. 

According to data from buy-to-let lender Paragon Bank, half of the landlords are ready to make changes.

The bank’s research shows the number of homes rented by 45 to 64-year-olds has soared by 70 per cent in the past decade, while the number of renters aged 65 and over has risen by 38 per cent.

And the takeaway for landlords, says the bank, is middle-aged tenants are unlikely to buy homes and will continue to rent, providing their homes are adapted to suit their needs.

When asked if they would adapt their properties, 50 per cent of landlords said they would spend an average of £985 on updating a home.

Tenants are getting older

Others were ready to spend more - with 21 per cent earmarking £1,000, 11 per cent setting aside up to £3,000 and five per cent willing to invest at least £5,000.

Landlords also remarked they prefer older tenants as they stay longer (65 per cent), get on with neighbours (63 per cent), and are more reliable than young adults (58 per cent).

Richard Rowntree, Paragon’s managing director of mortgages, said: “The idea that the private rented sector is the tenure of the young is outdated. Over half of the tenants, today are over 35, and if current trends continue, the average age of tenants living in the sector will only rise.

“As with other distinct tenant groups – young couples and students to name but two – older tenants have their specific requirements. Over 65s are more likely to live alone and in smaller homes, for example, and the sector will need to adapt and evolve to cater for this ageing tenant population. Landlords will need to target smaller homes and be prepared for their tenant to adapt the home to suit their needs.

“The good news is that landlords have a strong track record of meeting the needs of their tenants and I’m confident that they will be ready to respond to meet this changing demographic.”

What the data says about ageing renters

The English Housing Survey is the go-to place for rental statistics. The latest report covers 2021-22 and shows England has 4.6 million privately rented homes - 19 per cent of the housing stock.

In the 45 to 54-year-old age group, the number of private renters increased from 530,000 households (12 per cent) to 740,000 households (17 per cent) between 2011-12  and 2021-22.

The survey also states that the number of private renters in the 55-64-year-old group increased during the past decade from 252,000 households (7 per cent) to 477,000 (11 per cent).

Almost two out of three private renters (62 per cent) hope to buy a home within the next five years.

On average, they rent for 4.4 years and 65 per cent renting for less than a year were tenants in their former homes. In 2021-22, private tenants moved from a rented house to another rented home 620,000 times.

First-time private tenants added another 219,000 moves, while 192,000 moves were made to owner-occupied homes.

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