The number of older tenants in the private rental sector is growing. Factors such as a rising elderly population along with the cost and effort of property maintenance is making older people turn to rental properties in their later years.
The benefits of renting to elderly tenants are plentiful. From longer tenancy agreements to reliability, we explore these advantages, along with the factors landlords and letting agents need to consider to meet their needs.
The Benefits of Renting to Elderly Tenants
Focusing on elderly groups as your target tenant can bring great advantages to landlords and letting agents;
Older people are more likely to require a settled home rather than move house every few years. As they’ve passed the age of extending their families, older tenants have stable jobs or are in retirement. If you’re looking for a long term tenant (which means less costs and time spent on the property in the long term) then elderly tenants are a good bet.
Tenants with more life experience tend to be reliable, have a steady income from their job or pension and pay their rent on time. When issues arise, older tenants are more likely to have the experience and knowledge to report them swiftly and keep on top of their own day to day property maintenance responsibilities.
Unlike younger tenants and students, elderly tenants are unlikely to host lots of parties or demonstrate any behaviour that could irritate neighbours. If your property is located very close by other properties or you have had issues with noise complaints in the past, older tenants could be a solution.
Elderly Tenant Rights
As with any tenant, landlords must be vigilant in upkeeping tenants’ rights and not discriminating by age or any other factor.
Anti-discrimination laws are in place to protect tenants from unlawful eviction and ensure they find suitable housing.
As a landlord or letting agent you must;
- Ensure all rental property advertisements do not discriminate by age, race or any other defining factors. E.g. you cannot specify an age range when advertising for tenants
- Never tell a prospective tenant that the property is unavailable when it is
- Never end a tenancy without reason
- Make any necessary adjustments to your property when renting to tenants with disabilities as can be found in the Equality Act 2010
Elderly Tenants and Health Issues
One of the big factors to consider when renting to elderly tenants is the possibility of health issues and disabilities. Some common health problems that occur in later life include;
- Mobility issues
- Hearing impairment
- Sight impairment
Tenants with dementia may struggle to remember to pay rent on time or find the right numbers to call to report issues. In this case, you may need to set up an automated payment system and make more regular property inspections.
As a landlord, you may need to make adjustments or allowances for tenants with health issues or disabilities if they’re living in your property. From fitting stair lifts to changing your communication channels, we explore this in more detail further down the page.
Things to Consider When Renting to Elderly Tenants
Here are some main points for landlords to consider to ensure elderly tenants’ needs are met;
Elderly tenants are more likely to require a peaceful area with easy access to essential amenities such as shops, the post office and everyday services.
If you’re targeting elderly tenants, do your research first to find desirable areas for this tenant group.
Consider Allowing Pets
For many older people, pets provide essential companionship and emotional support. When renting to this tenant group, it’s worth considering allowing pets as this will make your property more desirable to a wider pool of tenants.
If you’re worried about damage to the property, asking for a higher deposit is a reasonable request.
Many older people who have not grown up with email or mobile phones may struggle to use these communication channels. When dealing with older tenants, you may need to stick to phone calls or letters.
Determining the easiest forms of communication at the start of the tenancy will help encourage a positive landlord/tenant relationship. Some tenants with sight impairments may require all written communication in Braille.
Property Adjustments for Older People
Under the 2010 Equality Act, landlords are required by law to make any reasonable adjustments to their properties to allow tenants with disabilities to live safely and comfortably.
This could include;
- Installing access ramps for wheelchair or mobility scooter users
- Installing stair lifts
- Installing railings in the bathroom
- Fitting accessible kitchen and bathroom facilities
- Widening doors for wheelchair access
- Ground floor level access
- Unrestricted parking access
Living Safely: Family Contact Numbers
If your tenant has a fall or you are unable to contact them and are concerned for their safety, it’s a good idea to have access to the contact details and phone numbers of close family members. Having a small number of people you can contact regarding your tenant can help ensure their safety and strengthen the lines of communication.
Elderly tenants can be more vulnerable to break ins and door to door scams. Ensuring the rental property is safe and secure can help protect your tenant against crime. To secure your property;
- Always change the locks between tenancies
- Ensure all windows have good quality locks
- Ensure all external doors are well fitted
- Consider an alarm system
- Fit security lighting
- Fit a front door buzzer or peep hole to allow tenants to check who’s at the door before answering
Evicting An Elderly Tenant: The Right Way
For elderly tenants, finding a new rental home can prove more difficult, particularly if they suffer from age related health issues. If your tenant is late on rent payments or if there are any property maintenance issues, try to find a solution before beginning the eviction process.
For example, helping the tenant set up automated rent payments or providing advice on where to find government financial support could make all the difference. Likewise, encouraging your tenant to employ a cleaner or approaching family members for help could solve any property maintenance issues.
However, if there is no alternative and you need to evict your tenant, here’s some advice;
- Seek legal advice before proceeding
- Always follow the correct laws, regulations and procedures
Protecting Your Property
For some older people, property maintenance becomes harder as they experience reduced mobility. This can be a concern for landlords of furnished properties, worried about damage beyond fair wear and tear.
To protect your property long term, always invest in a professional property inventory report as evidence of the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy. This way, you will be in a better position to recover any costs at the end of the tenancy.
Get Help Being A Responsible Landlord
Renting to elderly tenants can be very rewarding, as older tenants tend to look for longer tenancies. However, renting to this tenant group can require certain adjustments and property management tasks that take up time.
If you rent to elderly tenants, investing in a professional property inventory service can save you time and help to ensure you’re fulfilling all your obligations as a landlord.
From regular property inspections to property inventory reports – No Letting Go provide a wide range of property services across the UK.
Browse our full list of property inventory services to find out how we could help.
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to provide a secure property for your tenants. No one wants to receive a call from a distressed renter who’s just been broken into. Safe and secure properties equal happy tenants.
Insufficient security against intruders is one of the most common hazards impacting well-being in the home. Burglaries and forced entry are not only alarming, but also result in a lot of hassle sorting out insurance claims.
So, how safe and secure is your property?
If you think there could be room for improvement, then read on.
Are the Locks Up to Scratch?
The first thing to think about when assessing the security of your property should be the standard of door locks in place.
Changing Locks Between Tenancies
It should be common practice to change all the locks on doors and windows for every change in occupancy. You never know who’s hands the keys of previous tenants can end up in, especially when getting new keys cut is so easy.
What Type of Lock to Choose?
The Residential Landlords Association advise using five lever mortice locks for external timber doors or a multi-point locking system for PVC doors.
It’s also worth fitting door chains onto front doors for added security.
Don’t Forget About Windows
Window locks are just as important as they are a common point of entry for intruders.
Ensure that all windows easily accessible from the outside have good quality locks. But note that locks should not be used for designated escape windows.
Are the Doors a Good Fit?
It’s all well and good having top-quality locks, but if external doors don’t fit the door frame properly your property is vulnerable to break ins.
Make sure that all exterior doors and garage doors are correctly fitted and are free from damage.
What About an Alarm System?
Fitting a security alarm is another way of keeping your property safe for your tenants. Raising the alarm is especially important if the occupants are away from the property for extended periods of time.
The security system doesn’t have to be state-of-the-art. A simple home security system is all you need to protect your property. There is a huge array of burglar alarms and defender alarms out there:
- The simplest option is a ‘bells-only’ alarm which, when triggered, sets off an audible alarm to alert tenants or neighbours
- A speed dialler alarm allows you to choose up to three contact numbers to be immediately contacted by text message when the alarm is set off
- The most expensive alarm is a monitored system. When the alarm is sounded, a signal is sent to a remote monitoring centre. This means the centre can confirm whether there is a security issue, and if so, inform the police, freeing up more of your time
Is Your Property Visible?
If your property is located slightly off the beaten track or in an area without many neighbours around, it might be worth investing in a security camera.
CCTV systems are more affordable than they used to be, but make sure you comply with laws on the handling of digital images.
Is Your Property Well Lit?
A simple, yet effective security measure is to fit security lights. Outdoor lighting is essential for making your tenants feel safe when they return to the property late at night.
Important places to illuminate with sensor activated lights include the property entrance, gates, driveways and anywhere that could be a potential entry point for intruders.
It’s also worth fitting wall switch controlled lights near garden outbuildings, side and rear doors. Anywhere not overlooked by neighbours could benefit from additional lighting.
How Safe is the Area?
The location of your property can have a big impact on the risk of break ins. Ensure you research the area thoroughly before making the decision to buy new properties.
This type of research can take time. Time that busy landlords with multiple properties might not have to spare. Luckily, there are several property report services available to do the hard work for you. These reports look at factors such as historical crime data in the area as well as comparing local and national crime rates. They can also give you information on the nearest police stations to make property management simpler.
Do you Have a Vacant Property?
It’s important to keep tabs on any vacant properties you might have. Most insurance companies require vacant properties to be visited regularly to check the property is secure and manage any issues.
If you’re juggling multiple properties, why not delegate this task to a professional service? No Letting Go offers reliable vacant tenancy inspections so you don’t have to worry about any attempted break-ins.
Are Your Tenants Safety Aware?
It could be worth sending your tenants a quick email with advice to ensure they’re up to date with the latest safety information. If you’re renting to students or younger people this could be particularly beneficial.
It’s a nice way to show you care and are serious about your responsibilities as a landlord. Simple home security ideas and tips such as hiding valuables and leaving a light on in the bathroom when out could make all the difference.
Direct your tenants to the Met Police website for further home security information.
Secure Property Management
Hopefully, these security ideas will help you to provide the safest and securest properties for your tenants.
If you’ve already got a lot on your plate, let us help with our professional, unbiased inventory services and property reports. With No Letting Go’s assistance, you can rest assured your property meets all the safety standards.