0:03 AM, 18th September 2023, About 2 weeks ago 25
Almost half of older private tenants had their rent raised in the past year, and more than one in five can no longer comfortably afford to pay their bills, a survey reveals.
The ‘Hidden Renters’ report published by Independent Age, found that 45% of older private renters had experienced a rent increase, with more than half of the rises being between £50 and £200 per month.
Anxiety about being able to pay to stay where they live was reported among many of the respondents, all of whom were 65 and over.
While that feeling was more common among those on housing benefit (51%), anxiety was still prevalent among 42% of those not receiving such help, the charity said.
John Palmer, the director of influencing and engagement at Independent Age, said: “None of us expect to live our later years scraping by so we can afford our rent.
“But for many older private renters, this is their reality.”
The survey also found that 15% of respondents said they had less than £100 of disposable income to spend each month after paying rent, leaving little to cover food and bills.
The charity also interviewed more than 40 older tenants in the first three months of the year who were living on a low income and privately renting across the country.
It also took onboard insights from advisers on its national helpline and advice services.
The organisation said the threat of eviction is a real fear for many people given the ‘lack of alternative affordable housing for older people’.
Independent Age said it was calling for the government to act to ‘fix the broken private rental sector’.
Polly Neate, the chief executive of the homelessness charity Shelter, told the i newspaper: “We regularly hear from older renters who have worked for decades in search of safety and security in later life but are now being condemned to live out their senior years in cramped, damp or run-down properties.
“Others have been left desperately scrambling after their landlord issued a Section 21 no-fault eviction notice, giving them just two months to find a new home.”
She added: “Instead of leaving older renters at the mercy of a broken and underregulated private renting system, the Government must keep its word, and get the Renters (Reform) Bill over the line to finally ban Section 21 evictions and make renting safer and fairer for everyone.”
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