Renting For Retirees
Extreme change in house prices in the past few years have led many retirees to renting a home in their twilight years. While renting a home isn’t exactly a death sentence to a happy retirement, I feel a bit sentimental over the issue since some retirees are forced into renting because they will retire without a pension.
Luckily, there are many ways to find a rental property in the UK, So if you are a retiree, here are some tips that may help you.
If you want to rent a private property, you may solicit the help of a lettings agent or approach the landlord directly.
You also have the option to live in a retirement development. These type of developments offer longer tenancy agreements compared to privately rented properties. Personally, I think they are very attractive living arrangements for retirees, since they can offer leisure facilities, round the clock care, and good security.
Another option would be contacting local authorities for available houses in the area. Their personnel can easily connect you with housing associations, charities, and trusts offering suitable property to rent for your needs.
Before committing to an option, consider first the pros and cons of renting a property during retirement.
Let’s start with the pros – as a retiree, you won’t have to worry about property maintenance when you rent, and this is a big relief for two reasons.
First, most people aren’t in the mood to fix leaky faucets, repair broken doors/windows, etc. So having the landlord oversee these repairs is very convenient. Second, it could help you save tons of money on maintenance and property renovation costs. In the UK, an average landlord could spend between £10,000 and £20,000 on a span of 10 years just on property maintenance and repairs. Rather than spending this amount on bills, you can open up your possibility to save and use these funds for travel or other worthwhile activities.
Others are lured into renting for the flexibility it allows. A typical rental agreement in the UK usually lasts for 6 months, so when the lease expires you have the option to rent a place in another country without any worries. This setup helps you live in the UK during Summer time, then spend the Winters on warmer countries.
Now for the cons – No matter how enticing renting can be for retirees, there are still downsides to it, nonetheless.
Two big caveats you should be aware of are the possibility of unexpected rental rate increase and inadequate maintenance. You may also have to face the reality that you’d still have to pay for rent even when you’re confined in the hospital.
I also suggest to take these extra precautions to protect yourself from any fraud:
- Make sure everything is in good order before you move in
- Keep track of the total cost of renting
- Take responsibility over your things by securing a specialist tenant insurance
And one last thing – there is another scenario that you may want to watch out for: some parents end up renting because they sell their homes to help their children buy a home. But just because they do this early in their retirement, it doesn’t mean their kids won’t have to pay inheritance tax later on. If you are thinking of a similar move, always consult an inheritance tax expert before you sell your home.
For as long as you are aware of the pros and cons of renting, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding problems and enjoying your retirement.