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More divorced middle-aged tenants pile extra demand on rental sector

New research suggests that an influx of older renters has increased congestion in the rental market.

Some 39 per cent of renters are now aged 45 or above, with a fifth of these having only entered the rental market in the past five years.

More than half of renters in this age group previously owned homes but no longer own a property. 

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The organisation behind this research - Credit Karma - claims this mirrors government data, which shows there are 225,000 more 55-to-64 year olds living in private rented homes in the past decade. This contributes to the situation where some 41 per cent of renters aged 18-to-24 found it difficult to find a rental property.

In the overwhelming number of cases - 71 per cent - the aged-45-and-above renters are in the sector because they can’t afford to buy a property, often because of divorce. A fifth of renters aged over 45 said a change in their relationship status was the reason for renting, rising to 28 per cent of those aged 55 or over. 

Credit Karma claims that older renters are an attractive prospect for landlords, with 14 per cent saying that they actively look for more mature or experienced tenants when letting their properties. 

The research suggests the vast majority of landlords say a renter’s financial history is important and two in five want those with a good credit history or score. Tenants aged over 65 are three times as likely to check their credit score regularly compared to 18-to-24 year-olds.

A spokesperson for Credit Karma says: “The hot rental market won’t be simmering down anytime soon as a new wave of older renters are also vying for properties. If you are looking to lease a home, whether that’s because of a change in personal circumstances or a desire to have additional flexibility in your living arrangements, it’s more important than ever to be in the best financial position possible.” 

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  • Nic  Kaz

    Rental demand is rising, rental property investment is falling- when will the crunch come and what will it look like?

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    I think it's already arrived, and looks like 100 enquiries per property in 2-3 days of advertising!! Also councils wanting to buy properties (like the ones they sold off and are still selling off) because its too expensive to house people in hotels.

     
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    More Divorces it’s not news it’s the Benefit System stupid, single parent syndrome to be kept, housed, family reared, schooled, cloaked, child benefit etc you can’t keep houses’ Flats build for them, no wonder there’s a shortage, even huge numbers that arrived recently are on it, its addictive once it never give it up.

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    LLs may like older tenants but how are older tenants going to pay the rent when they retire? Tenants on fixed incomes when rents continue to rises will either need extra benefits or will fall into debt.

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    This is the hidden iceberg 🚢 which will come to bite us.

     
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    Its an awful situation - sadly I am seeing a lot of older couples already retired applying to rent from me. I am hearing the same story - been in their home for a number of years but landlord selling. It is so sad and so avoidable if govt had not waged this war on LLds. I do not have the financial means to be a charity and am so aware of the risks that are looming with no S21 so I choose tenants in late 20s early 30s that I know can afford to pay the rent and then move on to buy or for work so I will get my house back at some point. I would be very averse to having an older tenant in there on limited means as I would not be able morally to apply a rent rise and financially would not be able to not put up the rent. A horrible situation all round and I often wonder where these older renters end up…….

     
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    I agree this is a potential problem. Also you might need to sell the property and these are the sort of tenants who probably won't want to move.

     
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    It depends on the property.
    For low income people who are likely to rely on means tested benefit top ups, bedroom entitlement is going to be a key issue.
    If it's a one bedroom property and it's in the bottom half of rents for properties in it's broad location the likelihood is that DHPs will be available as there simply isn't a realistic chance of the tenants finding anywhere cheaper.

    A great many older tenants actually earn good money or have decent private or workplace pensions. They may be too old to appeal to mortgage lenders but they are perfectly capable of paying rent for whatever property they want.

    Then there's purpose built retirement housing which is aimed at the over 55s or 60s. Some private and some Social. The Right to Buy never applied to Social retirement housing and there is almost a conveyor belt of people entering and leaving. Just because someone doesn't qualify for family size Social Housing when they are younger doesn't mean they won't get a Council retirement flat. Some of the Council retirement developments are very, very nice and in highly convenient locations.

    As a landlord I think the thing I really fear is finding a decomposing body. It was bad enough when a 25 year old tenant was found by his housemate within a few hours of dying last year but the idea of finding one after a few weeks of decomposition freaks me out a bit.

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    Split the families and spoil them mad!

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    Catherine, my experience has been a bit different to yours. We have 2 or 3 bed houses (and 1 bungalow) and found that our older or retired tenants make the best tenants.
    No antisocial behavior problems and rent always paid as a priority. Best 1 was with us over 17 years and eventually on her late 90's sadly moved into a nursing home.

    I've found that they young couples normally break up after a short period of time and need to move out. Some don't even know how to change a light bulb or a battery and expect it to be done for them.

    Never have any problems with tenants in their late 40's, 50's or retired.

    Although I do admit that the thought of finding a decomposing body would be my worst nightmare.

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    Hi DDuck
    Horses for courses I guess and every point you make is very valid. I agree that the older renter demographic is probably a very reliable tenant to have. We have a small portfolio and been Landlords for over 20 years now and only had 2 you g couples break up or perhaps we have just been lucky. Our model however means we need to keep rents up to market rate at this time so as I say I would really worry if I had an older say retired renter that couldnt afford that commitment. Can I ask if you have found that having that type of tenants has resulted in your rents gradually slipping to lower than market rate? Our need may change and at that point we might reconsider but right now we are not in a position to do it and I would be caught between a rock and a hard place unable to apply a rent rise on a pensioner who cannot afford it.

     
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    I agree and also have the more mature tenants that are a lot less bother than youngesters , rents do slip a bit but I don't mind that too much

     
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    Morning Andrew - just literally wondering how you were when you posted - hope you are doing ok!

     
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    thank you Catherine, I'm doing OK just not sleeping too well at night I 'm told this is normal to start with

     
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    Do you have a raised temperature Andrew?

    After my father had had a triple cardiac bypass, he didn't have any appetite except for eating breakfast. By chance I took his temperature and it was going up during the day. Once he took some ibuprofen, he was able to eat properly - and that helped his recovery.

    Having a fever can also cause insomnia.

     
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    Hello Ellie, I did have a raised temperture for a while but that's settled down now and now I'm home I',m enjoying my food again

     
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    So important that you are able to eat now, Andrew. That's very good news.

    You will probably be able to sleep properly again, too.

    Wishing you a perfect recovery!

     
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    Jo, great knowledge but freaking me out and getting morbid, reminding of a Polish man in his 60’s that lived alone, had been active adored his dog always taking him to the Park even washed his feet before taking him back in doors. Lightning struck house in dark of night I heard such a bang it ruffled all the roof tiles
    blew the electrics, he survived that and seemed ok. However shortly afterwards he died at home alone neighbour didn’t get concerned for a while, when they did it was a terrible discovery, he was decomposing the dog was eating him RIP.

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    At least the Council couldn't say he didn't recycle.

     
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    Landlord fined and imprisoned for 99 years for failing to feed the dog
    Landlords children get 25 years imprisonment each, guilt by association

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    At least it wasn't mold

     
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