Many of us dream of the time when we'll be mortgage-free and enjoying retirement, but it seems that a growing number of retirees may not have got on the ladder at all, with the number of people living in private rented accommodation in retirement having soared by 220,000 in the last four years – an increase of 13% since 2012.
The figures, from the National Landlords Association (NLA), become even more worrying when considering that the proportion of landlords who let to retired renters has almost halved in the same four-year period, with 9% of landlords saying they do, down from 19% in 2012.
This suggests that it could become harder for those approaching retirement to find suitable rented accommodation in the future, especially in high-demand areas, which could make retirement a stressful time for many.
"More and more people are turning to private rented housing at every stage of their lives, including in retirement," said Carolyn Uphill of the NLA. "Landlords appreciate the stability and assurances often provided by older households, but are finding it difficult to build businesses around the needs of potentially vulnerable tenants… private landlords will soon be unable to provide homes in high-cost areas for anyone without a well-paying job."
She explains that this is largely the result of Government cuts to the welfare budget, uncertainty about pension provision, and the "devastating impact" of the recent tax changes in the buy-to-let sector, all of which have made it harder for landlords to sustain their businesses.
As a result, they're being forced to concentrate on seemingly less risky tenants rather than those without a stable income, which could unfortunately mean that private rented accommodation for retirees becomes increasingly difficult to come by.
Carolyn concludes: "As the proportion of retired renters continues to grow there's a real worry that homes won't be available in the private sector, forcing people to look further afield – leaving communities they have known and contributed to for decades."
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