BBC’s The One Show suggests renting can be a good option for retirees

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.




  1. Michael Hollands
    Posted 5th December 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    The programme ended by saying that renting would be a good alternative, so one would be able to try out the accommodation at no risk.
    But the bulk of the programme described the unexpected problems that could occur especially if a purchaser had not understood the lease conditions.
    Exit fees, service and care charges which continue after death, charges for alterations or improvements and downright dishonesty on the part of some management companies.
    Although renting can take away some of these worries, the cost of such is going to be reflected in the rental charges, which may be higher on this type of property.
    I am assuming of course that Girlings having purchased these properties are governed by the same lease conditions as would normally be the case. And would have to cover these charges themselves.
    Or if they were acting as an letting agent for an owner, then then owner would have to pay, so the Girlings rental charge would again have to cover them.
    Would a Girlings tenant on an assured lifetime tenancy have the same voting powers as the other leaseholders?

  2. Peter
    Posted 14th December 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Dear Michael, thank you for your comment.
    Girlings let and manage retirement properties on behalf of the Leaseholder, who is the Landlord to the sub-tenant. Renting through Girlings on an Assured Tenancy is such a simple option for older people, as the Leaseholder is responsible for paying all the charges associated with the services and applicable fees of the development and also property maintenance. The inclusive Assured Tenancy rent means that our tenants are able to budget effectively.
    Regarding voting powers: in our capacity as agent, we have to give consideration to what is best for the development, the leaseholder and the residents, now and in the future, so all voting is undertaken centrally. We do take into consideration tenants opinions and encourage them to attend residents’ meetings to find out what is happening in their development and to let us know their thoughts.

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