The number of people living in private rented accommodation in retirement in the UK has soared by more than 200,000 in the last four years, according to a new poll.
Overall, the survey from the National Landlords Association (NLA) shows that the proportion of retired private renters has grown by 13% since 2012 as more and more people turn to the private rented sector.
Some 17% of the retired private renting population live in the South East, the area with the highest proportion across the UK. However, just 3% live in London which is the area with the smallest proportion area across England and Wales for renting in retirement.
There are almost four times as many retired renters in the North West at 15% compared to the North East at 4% and twice as many retirees rent property in the West Midlands at 8% compared to the East Midlands at 4%.
However, the proportion of landlords who let to retired renters has almost halved during the same timeframe, with 9% of landlords saying they currently let to retirees compared to 19% in 2012.
The findings suggest that it could become harder for those approaching retirement to find suitable rented accommodation in the future, especially in high demand areas, according to Carolyn Uphill, chairman of the NLA.
‘More and more people are turning to private rented housing at every stage of their lives, including in retirement. Landlords appreciate the stability and assurances often provided by older households, but are finding it increasingly difficult to build businesses around the needs of potentially vulnerable tenants,’ she explained.
‘Successive cuts to the welfare budget, uncertainty about pension provisions, and the devastating impact of the Government’s tax changes are likely to mean that private landlords will soon be unable provide homes in high cost areas like Central London for anyone without a well-paying job,’ she pointed out.
‘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,’ she added.