There has been a sharp increase in the volume of people residing in private rented accommodation in retirement across much of the UK since 2012, new figures show.
The latest survey from the National Landlords Association (NLA) reveals that the number of retired private renters has increased by more than 200,000, or 13%, in the last four years, reflecting the fact that more people are turning to the private rented sector.
A breakdown of the data reveals that just 3% of the retired private renting population live in London, despite the fact that 17% of the nation’s retired population reside in private rented accommodation across the South East – the area with the highest proportion across the UK.
There are close to four times as many retired renters living in the North West at 15% compared to the North East at 4% and twice as many retirees rent property in the West Midlands at 8% compared to the East Midlands at 4%.
However, only 9% of landlords said that they currently let to retirees, down from 19% in 2012.
The findings from the research indicate that it could may soon become harder for those approaching retirement to find suitable rented accommodation in the future due to the general supply-demand imbalance in the market, according to Carolyn Uphill, chairman of the NLA.
She said: “More and more people are turning to private rented housing at every stage of their lives, including in retirement. Landlords appreciate the stability and assurances often provided by older households, but are finding it increasingly difficult to build businesses around the needs of potentially vulnerable tenants.
“Successive cuts to the welfare budget, uncertainty about pension provisions, and the devastating impact of the Government’s tax changes are likely to mean that private landlords will soon be unable provide homes in high cost areas like Central London for anyone without a well-paying job,’ she pointed out.
“As the proportion of retired renters continues to grow there’s a real worry that homes won’t be available in the private sector, forcing people to look further afield, leaving communities they have known and contributed to for decades.”