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Change is needed to help older renters

letting agent fees
Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The RLA believes the Government must help landlords support older renters looking for greater security, following the publication of a BBC report which claims the number of middle aged renters has doubled in a decade.

The BBC News data claims:

  • The proportion of 35 to 54-year-olds who live as private tenants has nearly doubled in 10 years since 2006-07, according to the Family Resources Survey by the Department for Work and Pensions
  • Renting among all age groups is now more likely to be from a private landlord than from a council or housing association
  • A particular rise in renting among 45 to 50-year-olds, sometimes as a result of death, debt or divorce.

Responding, RLA policy director David Smith said: “With Government data showing that rents are increasing by less than inflation and that average weekly rents are lower than weekly 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.

“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.

“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 that limit 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 an increasing number of landlords are not investing in more properties or are selling off homes because of Government tax rises on the sector.

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

“The Government is increasingly asking the private rented sector to house people in categories that it was never intended or structured to do.

“Ministers need to undertake a comprehensive review to ensure the support is in place for landlords to meet the changes in the types of tenants in rented housing.”

  • The RLA has been campaigning for tax incentives for landlords offering longer tenancies – which was one of  the association’s key asks ahead of last year’s autumn budget.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

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