The number of people over 50 living in rented accommodation in the UK has been on the rise over the last five years with a third now renting, new research has found.
A third of people aged 50 and over currently live in rented accommodation, up from just over a quarter in 2011, according to the analysis from Saga Home Insurance.
The reasons for renting are usually down to a change in family circumstance with more people aged over 50 getting divorced than ever before. Indeed, some 20% of renters over 50 are single ad trying to get back on the housing ladder for a second time.
There has been a significant decrease in the number of widowers living in rented accommodation, down by 10% in the last five years, perhaps because they are remarrying or moving in with family.
Unexpectedly when it comes to the age of people living in rented accommodation, there has been an increase in the number of people under 70 who are renting, with the biggest increase amongst those aged 50 to 54, while the number of people renting aged over 70 has decreased, this again points to the fact that divorce is creating the demand for renting as silver splitters have to divide the family home.
People over 50 living in rented accommodation have around £20,000 worth of contents in their homes but 59% of people over 50 living in rented accommodation do not have home insurance, leaving them potentially facing big bills, should anything happen within their home.
‘Social changes certainly seem to be having an impact on the homes of the over 50s. It is concerning that so many do not have insurance for their belongings, whilst the landlord has responsibility for repairing the building should anything happen, they are not responsible for replacing valued possessions should they for example be damaged by fire or even a significant water leak,’ said Roger Ramsden, chief executive of Saga Services.
‘Without insurance, it is not just people’s own possessions they would have to foot the bill for if they were damaged. Any fixtures and fittings or other items tenants are listed as responsible for in the inventory agreed with the landlord will have to be replaced if they are damaged by tenants, which could add up to a significant sum,’ he added.