Paragon Bank’s analysis of government data shows that the number of households in the private rental sector aged between 45 and 64 increased by 70% over the past 10 years, with those aged 65 or over increasing by 38%*.
The research also revealed that 46% of landlords would be happy to fund property alterations to cater for older tenants. The survey of nearly 800 landlords revealed that the average amount they would be willing to invest is £985*.
In light of these findings, we thought this guide might be helpful for those looking to make their property more accommodating for the expanding age bracket of renters.
Is my property suitable for an older tenant?
Like every other group of renters, older tenants will have specific requirements for their homes, and your rental property might already have some to offer. However, if your property has only attracted one age group of tenants thus far, the reason is likely down to its location.
Before you think about altering your property, you should take a look at the location and consider whether it is truly suitable area for an older tenant. Is the neighbourhood safe and quiet? Are there accessible amenities? What is the community like? If it’s positioned in a student dominated area or surrounded by bustling nightlife, it may not be the most ideal property to market to an older demographic.
Décor can better suit the needs of elderly occupants with a few simple adjustments. Loose rugs are less than ideal for older tenants and their children or grandchildren, so if your property is already decorated with carpets and rugs, consider securing them with anti-slip underlays. Doorknobs can also be troublesome for some tenants, especially for those suffering from arthritis. Door levers are much easier on the hands - much like long lever taps which don’t require too much grip.
Good lighting is also a great way to ensure that your tenant is happy and safe in their home. Darkness opens up risk for trips and falls, and it’s important that your property is well-lit in all the vital areas such as the landing and stairs, the kitchen and bathrooms, and any outdoor spaces. Lighting should be ample but not glaring or headache-inducing; so consider using layered lighting in your scheme to create a balanced and bright space.
Companionship and support is essential for all generations; and for older renters, this might come in the form of keeping a pet. A great way to cater to this age bracket is by allowing a pet to move in with them.
Secure the property
Thieves often target vulnerable people, so make sure your property is completely secure year-round by doing regular checks on all the doors, windows, and locks. This will provide the tenant with peace of mind that they are safe in their home. You could also invest in other security measures such as outdoor lighting, window locks, and CCTV – which are all value-enhancing investments that will keep your tenants safe and comfortable.
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