The UK’s growing population of ageing tenants is expected to support the BTL businesses of thousands of landlords over the years to come. Consequently, more landlords will find it necessary to appropriately adapt their properties to meet the needs of older tenants.
Figures published by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) suggest that the number of households rented by private tenants in the 65+ age bracket has increased by almost 45% over the past 10 years. Elsewhere, Paragon Bank’s research found that the fastest growing segments in the private rented sector are the 55 to 64 bracket and the 65+ bracket.
All of which indicates a trend that is expected to continue over the years to come, with figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting that more than half of all rental properties in the UK will be occupied by over-55s by 2028.
Reliable Tenants with Unique Requirements
Commenting on the figures on behalf of Paragon Bank, managing director for mortgages Richard Rowntree said that while older tenants tend to be much more stable and reliable tenants, they have unique requirements their landlords should ensure are met.
Jane Simpson, managing director at BTL specialist TBMC said that as BTL landlords continue letting out their properties to older tenants, they will have no choice but to make adjustments and adaptations.
“I am not aware of lenders imposing age restrictions on tenants, so this trend of older tenants is unlikely to affect access to buy to let mortgage finance,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of Crystal Specialist Finance, group sales and marketing director, Jason Berry commented on the key factors all responsible BTL landlords must consider.
“Older tenants generally spend more time in the properties than younger professionals which could affect wear and tear. My personal experience as a landlord suggests that these additional years of life experience ensure that better care for the property is evident, and they are also at a point in time where their income is less volatile,” he said.
“This means that landlords are generally happy to make small but helpful amendments to their securities as investment is more secure and importantly, the transience risk is reduced mitigating the likelihood of rental void periods.”
Research conducted by the NRLA suggests that almost 80% of landlords are unaware of the fact that disabled facilities grants are available to help them adapt their properties.
With the ageing private tenant population expected to continue growing, more efforts are needed on the part of landlords to support the needs of their tenants.
“The difficulty for landlords arises when their tenants experience disability or age-related problems and need to have their home adapted,” commented Jane Simpson.
“Although there is financial support for landlords to help with the cost of adapting their properties, raising awareness of the issue and the grants available would be beneficial.”
Paragon’s Richard Rowntree highlighted the role lenders will be expected to play in helping landlords make the necessary adjustments to their properties.
“In addition to the help available through government schemes, lenders can provide products that equip landlords, such as further advances, with criteria and rates specific to these situations, similar to what we have seen with the recent rise in green finance products,” he said.
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