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Saga reveals surge in over 50s renters

4th July 2016 Print

While many will have us believe that older people are blocking up the housing market by owning large family homes, new analysis from Saga Home Insurance shows that the number of people over 50 living in rented accommodation has been on the rise over the last five years.

A third of people aged 50 and over currently live in rented accommodation, this is up from just over a quarter (26%) in 2011.  The reasons for renting are usually down to a change in family circumstance; more over 50s are getting divorced than ever before, perhaps accounting for the fact that 20% of renters over 50 are single as they try to get back on the housing ladder 2nd time around.

There has been a significant decrease in the number of widowers living in rented accommodation, this has decreased by 10% in the last 5 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 50-54, 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.  

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services commented: “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.”

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.