After the success of Agony Agent last week, we have had a run of questions that need answering; I have picked a handful and will be answering a new question each week.
Mr Patel contacted me with this question:
Q: I’m thinking of renting to older tenants rather than targeting young professionals like everyone else. Good idea? A: An excellent idea! The rental market is no longer just for young people yet to get on the property ladder. More and more mature professionals and retirees are turning to rentals, both from change of circumstances and as an active lifestyle choice.
Older tenants tend to have a more stable income, based on a lifetime of savings and investments, and are generally more interested in a long-term rental (and may well prove more responsible).
Around 25% of retirees live in rented accommodation, according to Prudential Insurance, as many sell their home to release the equity. And with an ageing population, these numbers are unlikely to go anywhere but up.
However, if you’re planning on taking advantage of this trend, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Pick the right area Older tenants will probably want somewhere fairly quiet, but with particular services nearby. Long-distance travel links may not be so important but local buses and trains should be nearby. Security will be paramount, as will easy access to shops and, for the elderly, access to neighbors.
- Buy the right property Retirees will be concerned about staircases and room size. Is there space to convert a downstairs room into a bedroom if it becomes necessary? Could a stairlift be installed? Extra handrails installed? And would you allow these things?
- Be reliable Older tenants will have a particular desire for their landlord to be approachable and hands-on during their tenancy. They will be much less willing than younger tenants to put up with any discomfort or disruption that may occur during the tenancy. But look after them and they will be around for longer, making your life easier.
- Maintain your property, properly Older renters and parents are a more switched-on and savvy rental group. They will expect everything to be good quality and safe (and they should know what to check). They’re probably looking to settle down for a while so won’t be inclined take a risk on something they are unsure about. Make sure everything is in safe working order, inside and out.
If you have a burning question that needs answering, then please email me and if selected it will appear in next week’s article.