Why more people are renting at an older age
With an increasing number of older people renting their homes in the UK, there are many reasons why renting is a more appealing or realistic option than owning a property for millions
The shape of the UK rental sector is changing, with plenty of benefits for the older renters.
The professionally managed rental sector, known as the Build to Rent (BtR) sector, in particular has much to offer those who rent their homes later in life.
Renting later in life
Within a decade, there will be more than a million people aged 65+ who rent their homes in the UK, according to Hamptons. Already, according to data from the latest English Housing Survey, there are 400,000 renters aged 65 and over. Meanwhile, the survey shows that 11 per cent of those aged 55-64 rented their home rather than owning in 2020/21, which is nearly double the proportion who rented at that age a generation earlier. If current trends continue, Hamptons predicts 11.5 per cent of people aged 65+ will be renting by 2033.
However, renting in later life doesn’t have to mean insecurity, worrying that your landlord might sell, or having to forgo the companionship of a pet. Instead, the growth of a new kind of renting experience—delivered by the BtR sector—is offering peace of mind for renters in later life.
" Hamptons predicts 11.5 per cent of people aged 65+ will be renting by 2033"
Danielle Bayless, Chief Operating Officer at Quintain Living, the award-winning management company overseeing the professionally managed rental of more than 3,650 apartments in Wembley Park, explains:
“Build to Rent homes are designed and built for professionally managed rental, providing homes for as long as tenants want to stay, in buildings entirely dedicated to renters, all under single management. They are created around residents’ needs right from the drawing board. In terms of renting in later years and into retirement, the beauty of BtR is that residents can be part of a richly diverse community. At Quintain Living, we have residents of all ages, from students through to mature residents who are enjoying retirement in one of the world’s most exciting cities.”
Security of tenure
A major part of the appeal for mature renters is that BtR homes are run by professional companies who are in it for the long run. They are not like private landlords who might sell up at a moment’s notice if Government legislation changes or their personal circumstances shift.
This means that tenants can feel secure in their BtR property for as long as they are there. They have peace of mind and a far greater sense of ‘home’ than is usually possible with a private rental property.
There is an element of reliability that comes with this too. Features such as on-site maintenance and resident teams supports consistently high standards in terms of the upkeep of both individual homes and communal areas, both inside and out.
This unique blend of security, consistency and reliability can hold major appeal for mature renters. Knowing that any maintenance issues will be resolved within 48 hours is very reassuring and not the kind of response that those renting from private landlords are used to.
Flexibility—on all fronts
The sheer scale of the BtR sector means plenty of flexibility for its residents. At Quintain Living’s Repton Gardens in Wembley Park, for example, homes range from studios up to four-bedroom apartments, and it is straightforward to upsize or downsize between apartments as desired. As such, solo renters, retired couples and families looking for multi-generational living arrangements are all easily accommodated, enjoying the space to spend time together as well as on their own.
The straightforward rental process is another draw. Unlike open house viewings for privately rented homes where as many as 50 people can compete for a single property, the scale of the BtR sector means there is plenty of capacity. Deposit-less renting and speedy referencing arrangements also mean that the rental process itself is swift and painless.
"Deposit-less renting and speedy referencing mean that the rental process is swift and painless"
Upon arrival in a BtR home, the easy settling in continues. At Quintain Living, staff are on hand to provide trollies for moving boxes, while utilities and wifi are all set up ready to go. Video entry phones and keyless entry systems add to the convenience—and to the sense of security.
There’s a social element that comes with living in BtR too. Bayless comments:
“By hosting a wide range of resident events and delivering such an extensive selection of amenities, we lay the foundations for plenty of cross-generational interaction and social connection over shared interests. It means that residents of all ages can enjoy a sense of community which is really important. Plus, the fact that every building has a 24/7 concierge, means there’s always a friendly face around, day or night.”
In terms of sociability, at Quintain Living there are groups focused around various interests—such as gardening, book clubs and a lively buy/swap/sell group—available through the Quintain Living Resident App.
There are also regular resident events such as the popular Paint and Prosecco art club, TED-style talks, quiz nights, gardening events, cookery classes, supper clubs, concerts and more. The event calendar offers plenty of variety in terms of topics and formats, so that there’s something for residents of all ages and interested to enjoy.
As well as events varying, amenities also differ from building to building. At Quintain Living’s Canada Gardens there is an acre of gardens with a clubhouse to stop by for a coffee, raised garden bed allotments for green-fingered residents to grow their own fruit and veg, a gym for keeping in shape, barbecue areas and outdoor kitchens, designer work-from-home sheds in the gardens, a stunning roof terrace, a dedicated area for dogs and a pirate ship playpark for grandchildren to enjoy.
Feedback on the facilities from mature renters has been overwhelmingly positive. Having access to extensive grounds and outdoor amenities, while not having to maintain them, certainly seems to appeal.
Companionship, of course, comes in many forms. Many renters have pets. At Quintain Living, more than 400 pets live on-site, enjoying a range of facilities dedicated to them, from dog runs and ‘bark parks’ to doggy day care and even a Laundro-Mutt for cleaning up mucky pups who’ve been indulging in a joyful roll in the mud.
The location of BtR homes brings its own kind of benefits. BtR schemes have sprung up in towns and cities across the UK in recent years, as the shape of the rental sector changes. The properties are located in bustling urban locations, offering renters everything they need on their doorstep, including good transport connections.
"Properties in bustling urban locations offer renters everything they need on their doorstep"
Wembley Park is a prime example of this. The neighbourhood has it all—London Designer Outlet for shopping, London’s largest BOXPARK for street food flavours from around the world, a host of independent eateries (such as the artisan bakery Bread Ahead and Indian restaurant Masalchi, from twice Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar) and a huge range of events courtesy of Wembley Stadium, the OVO Arena Wembley and the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. Plus all the usual practical essentials—opticians, hairdressers, beauty salon, grocery stores and a new GP opening in March 2024.
A new model
Where and how we rent homes is changing. The BtR sector is providing a new option for renters of all ages—and it is particularly well suited to renters looking to enjoy peace of mind while getting the most out of the rental experience later in their lives.
For more information visit www.quintainliving.com
Banner photo: Two older gentlemen talking by the balcony (credit: Quintain Living)
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter
Loading up next...