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Middle-aged renters on the rise

Rising UK house prices have left many middle-age workers unable to afford a first home, or as accidental renters after a relationship break-up, which is why significantly more older tenants are now renting from a private landlord than they were a few years ago.

Given that there is now more of a focus on supporting young first-time buyers, many older tenants now risk being ignored, which may partly explain why Grainger has seen a notable rise in the number of people in their thirties and forties embracing renting.

Helen Gordon, the head of Grainger which is the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, says that her firm has seen a rise in the number of renters aged between 35 and 44, especially in London.


She told the press: “That is partly because our flats are seen as an attractive alternative to people priced off the housing ladder. But, there has also been a mindset change in society: not everyone feels the need to own anymore.”

Grainger, which operates around 8400 rental homes, plans to develop 8,200 more properties to cater for growing demand from renters.

Research commissioned by Intus Lettings earlier this year found that there had been a 15% rise in the number of people renting a home aged 35-54 in the last three years as they struggle to get a mortgage.

The study also revealed that just under a fifth of renters over 55 believe that they will ever be able to afford to buy a property.

Reasons noted in the survey included general affordability and problems getting a mortgage due to age.

Hope McKendrick, lettings manager at Intus Lettings, said: “With the cost of rent rising faster than wages, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of people find themselves unable to save up for a deposit to buy a home well into their 40s, 50s and beyond.

“The survey results revealing that a large proportion of older renters don’t believe they’ll ever be able to buy a home is a particularly worrying trend, as only around one-in-five middle-aged tenants feel renting actually suits their lifestyle.”

McKendrick added: “Given that nearly half of renters aged between 35 and 54 live with their children, the pressures can mean added stress for parents and families.”

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    I have several middle aged and older tenants I much prefer them, stay longer, pay their way, keep the gardens nice, you can keep the youngsters, and the young single mums with chips on their shoulders, more trouble than they are worth.

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    Hardly surprising given the rise in house prices when compared to wage growth. Whilst renting in old age isn't in itself a problem, I think the main problem will be that once those renting require care in old age they'll have little to nothing in savings to pay for it, which will inevitably mean it falls on the state to pick up the bill. Whereas those who own their home typically end up paying through charges placed on their home by the local authority adult social care.
    Once this becomes a big enough problem for the state, which it will, I believe we'll see much higher or new forms of taxation to cover old age care.

    • 17 May 2019 11:27 AM

    Bang on.
    There is no point in struggling to buy a property when all that will happen as you suggest is that any equity will be robbed from the homeowner by the Council to pay for care home fees.
    So why bother just rent and the the Coincil will have to pay.
    This is why I find it bizarre that Govt doesn't do more to encourage homeownership.
    It needs to trap people into buying a property so the State has something to rob in 40 years time to pay for care fees.
    Self-funders are needed to subsidise those who have no assets.
    So my advice to these oldies is to rent and spend wildly on wine women and song and then waste the rest!!
    Pointless having discoverable savings or assets to be robbed by the Council.
    A little bit of Govt assistance now will pay off in 40 years time.

    I suggest MIRAS is reintroduced for properties up to £350000.
    Somehow Govt has to mug people into becoming homeowners.
    Govt beeds the equity to pay for those care home fees.
    But I think many people are now doing a Ronnie Corbett.
    He sold his house and got rid of all his assets to his family and rented.
    I reckon many oldies have realised that this is a wise strategy.
    Pointless letting the Council have your assets
    Make the State pay.
    They pay care fees for welfare scroungers so why bother having assets!?

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    How is asking property owners to use their equity to prevent the general tax payer funding their care robbery? Surely the robbery is this equity being left untouched to benefit their descendants, whilst the hapless tax payer gets nothing back for having looked after the inheritors' parents in their hours of need?


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