An increase in later-life divorces, poorer pension returns and men living longer have all led to a boom in older renters, nearly half of whom live alone.
The over 55s now make up 16% of privately rented households in England (576,000), up from 11% in 2010, according to a survey of 2,000 tenants by Paragon Bank.
Its new report – The Growth of Later Life Tenants – found this age group are much more likely to live alone – 48% compared with 23% of under 55s – while they also tend to live in the property for longer and are much more likely to be men, accounting for 62% of tenants.
It believes that as population forecasts show a big jump in older people, landlords need to be prepared to cater for their requirements.
Managing director of mortgages, Richard Rowntree (left), says this could include allowing older tenants to make amendments to the property such as decorating or being more flexible about allowing pets, as 36% of dog owners are over 55.
He adds: “Landlords will need to consider longer tenancy agreements, the location of their property and any adjustments the property may need for later life tenants.”
Paragon’s research also reveals that older tenants are generally happier in private rented accommodation than other age groups; 68% of over 55s said renting suited their needs or they enjoyed renting, compared with 49% in the under 55 group, while 63% were pleased they didn’t have to worry about repairs.
However, it seems that it’s often circumstances that determines their choice as when asked about the reasons for renting, 39% said they didn’t have a mortgage deposit.