Change needed to help older renters

Staff reporter

Staff reporter

Change needed to help older renters

A call has been issued for the Government to help landlords in the private rented sector to support older renters looking for greater security when renting a home.

The call from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) follows a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) report which claims the number of middle aged renters has doubled in a decade..

More than a quarter of those in their late thirties and early forties are now renting, while the number in the same age group with a mortgage fell from 60 per cent to less than 50 per cent between 2007 and 2017.

The research highlights a particular rise in renting among 45 to 50-year-olds, sometimes as a result of death, debt or divorce.

The Family Resources Survey also show tenants are more likely to be renting from a private landlord than from a council or housing association,

Responding, RLA policy director David Smith, said that with rents increasing by less than inflation and average rents lower than mortgage payments, it is not surprising that more older people who are finding it difficult to afford to buy a property are now renting.

“We recognise that older tenants, especially those with children, want security in rented housing,” he said.

“Although official statistics show that tenants have, on average, lived in their existing rented homes for almost four years, we have called on the Government to do more to support the provision of longer tenancies.”

He explained that this includes addressing the problem that mortgage lenders often prevent landlords offering longer tenancies with an RLA survey showing that 44 per cent of landlords have mortgage conditions limiting the maximum length of tenancy that can be offered.

“The growth in the number of older tenants is one factor behind an increase in demand for rented housing at a time when landlords are not investing in more properties or are selling off homes because of Government tax rises on the sector, Smith said.

“This is making it more difficult in areas of high demand for tenants to find decent accommodation.”

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