By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Retirees urged to consider renting in retirement rather than take equity release

It may actually make more financial sense for older people to rent rather than withdraw equity from their properties, according to Girlings Retirement Rentals.

Fresh research shows that there has been a sharp rise in the number of over 55s taking equity release from their homes, but this may not necessary make financial sense, the retirement rental specialist, owned by the Places for People Group, suggests.

The Equity Release Council recently reported that almost £1bn was withdrawn by over-55s through equity release in the first quarter of this year, up 8% year-on-year.


The industry body for the equity release sector said 20,400 customers borrowed against their homes, with the average customer taking out a lump sum of £97,763 to fund everything from home extensions to helping grandchildren get on the property ladder.

But Jamie Turnbull, business director of Girlings Retirement Rentals, points out that whilst equity release suits some people, there are alternatives such as downsizing and renting which could make people financially better off.



A recent study from Retirement Villages highlighted that more than half - 55% - of over-55s said they would consider renting a home and 48% would rent with a friend.

Turnbull said: “We have seen a year on year increase in the number of people choosing to sell their family home to downsize and rent, instead of buying. One of the main benefits is to have access to all their capital without paying interest, like many people have to do when taking out equity mortgages.”

According to the advice website MoneySavingExpert the typical interest rate for a ‘lifetime mortgage’ – the most popular kind of equity release – stands at 5.1%, significantly higher than that of most standard mortgages.

Turnbull continued: “By selling up and renting people can choose to invest and earn money on their savings, as well as have a lump sum to spend on things like home improvements or helping family. Obviously with renting there are no stamp duty costs either.

“Often when people rent they can plan their finances more carefully as they know what their monthly outgoings will be, plus there are no surprise bills, which can crop up for upkeep and maintenance when people own their home. The main barrier to renting in our experience is security of tenure. However with most of our properties coming with assured or ‘lifetime’ tenancies this doesn’t need to be an issue.

“Renting enables people to downsize to a more manageable sized property, release capital, save on bills and enjoy additional benefits such as access to a ready-made community and services they may need when they are older. They can then just get on with enjoying their retirement.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • icon

    From what I've seen equity release is usually terrible, the T&Cs pretty much guarantee there's nothing left after the property owner had died, so unless they aren't worried about leaving an inheritance it's probably best avoided. The upside of course is that they at least get to remain in their home.
    The idea of renting in retirement whilst may in financial terms make more sense than equity release, comes with the inherent lack of long term security. Who really want's to move more than once in retirement?
    Downsizing would seem in my mind at least to have the best of both, long term security in your own home whilst freeing up capital to do with as you please.

  • icon
    • 26 May 2019 20:26 PM

    Hi Barry,

    That’s a very valid point. Retirees in particular are very concerned about security of tenure. That’s why at Girlings the majority of our properties are available on assured tenancies with index linked rent reviews, providing our tenants with a lifetime tenancy and peace of mind.


    Retirees generally make exultant tenants, the only tenants I have ever evicted are the non payers everyone else is welcome to stay as long as they like.

  • icon

    ER is one of the most highly regulated mortgage products, nothing like the ER of 10 years or more ago.
    Fixed rates for life of 3.6% oe less, repay interest payments if want to
    Only talk to experianced advisor.
    Can be right for a lot of people.

  • icon

    You don’t need a Mortgage Advisor, what you need is an Auction House & get out quickly now. Housing Market has collapsed whether selling or renting it flat. I have been two my MP this for 2 years but they would rather listen to Shelter & fake media including a dedicated anti-Landlord London Radio Station. Brexit done damage granted but the biggest culprit is the Rogue Regulating & unfair rules & mad penalties, fines & sanctions just to destroy us which had been very successful, but you cut off your nose to spite your face.

  • icon

    No way still selling properties, still making a profit, still buying.
    Depends on Locationo Location

  • icon

    Good luck to you keep well away from the Smoke.

  • Suzy OShea

    what becomes difficult for elderly to budget for are the long-term increases in rent if they don't have generous pensions. We all know that the state pension is just soul food and would never cover rent as well as other living costs. Rents in retirement communities are higher because there are added services like wardens. yet buying in these communities also involves very high services charges for similar reasons.

    My advice if you have a large house that is too large for you to cope with, keep a spare room for a carer which you may well need and rent out a couple of rooms to defray future costs. Its a far better option than paying vast sums for retirement homes. Don't like the idea of 'sharing your home with strangers'. Well, what do you think you'll be doing in a retirement home where the dwellings are split into flats? if you get a bad neighbour, it can make your life miserable and you have absolutely no control. Keeping lodgers in your home who turn out to be noisy or anti-social, you can evict them in three weeks. most large houses could even have enough space to provide your own ground floor flat with bathrooms adapted for the elderly. Making the upper floor a shared rental space with a kitchen is not difficult. Employing a cleaner on a weekly basis for both premises means you retain ultimate control over what goes on in the shared rental space and can defray the cleaning costs of your own flat as part of the maintenance charges. if ever you came to sell your house, some tax would be due on the part used to generate income, but this is better than other alternatives.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up