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Government told - Help us to help older tenants

A trade body has stepped up its calls on government to help the lettings industry do more for older renters.

Responding to research by the BBC showing growing numbers of older people living in private rented housing, David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, says that it is unsurprising that older people appear to find it difficult to buy and therefore turn to the private rental sector.

“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” says Smith. 

“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.”

Smith insists that 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” he claims.  

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