Last week, BBC’s The One Show (22 November 2016)[i] focused on retirement living and suggested that renting may be a good alternative to buying a property in a purpose built retirement development.
Reporter Joe Crowley highlighted that a growing number of older people are buying leasehold apartments in purpose built retirement developments. Such developments offer many benefits for older people including security and peace of mind; some offer additional care services and the majority have a ready-made community of like-minded people, which can help to counteract loneliness – one of the biggest problems facing the older population today. Special guest – musical star Elaine Paige – agreed, commenting how much her mother’s friend had benefited from living in a retirement development.
For many older people, purchasing a property in a purpose built retirement development provides an opportunity to downsize from the family home to a one or two bedroom apartment better suited to their needs.
However, there are other alternatives to purchasing and we were delighted to hear The One Show’s presenter, Matt Baker, ask if renting could be a good option for retired people – a view that was endorsed by Joe Crowley, who said “it [renting] can be a brilliant solution”.
They also discussed the fact that renting allows people to ‘try out’ living in a retirement community, perhaps taking the opportunity to move to a new area to see if they like it and experience all the social advantages without the financial ties of ownership.
We agree. Over the past 25 years we have have helped thousands of tenants discover a new lease of life through renting in retirement, mostly on Assured Tenancies, which provide reassurance and peace of mind for the tenant knowing they can live there for as long they wish. The more common Assured Shorthold Tenancy will only provide security for a fixed period of time.
Many of our tenants tell us that they wish they had rented their retirement property earlier, citing the following reasons behind their decision:
- Renting on an Assured Tenancy gives security of tenure: you can remain in the property for as long as you choose – particularly important to older people who don’t want to be uprooted in later life.
- No surprise bills to pay as property maintenance, upkeep costs and services of the development are included in the monthly rent.
- Only needing one month’s notice to leave. This is particularly important for family who then have no worries about having to sell a retirement property.
- Capital released from the sale of a family home can be invested and used to supplement retirement income or simply used to enjoy a new lease of life.
We were delighted The One Show focused on retirement living and we hope that in the future such reports will look more closely at the benefits of renting in retirement too.