Being less likely to know neighbours who can support you; not having a garden to exercise in, self-isolating in poor conditions and anxiety about when repairs can be made. These are just some of the challenges facing thousands of older private renters in London during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Selective licensing can also help tenants feel more secure in their homes by improving landlord practice via license conditions that focus on good landlord practice. Such practices include, proper deposit management, full tenancy agreements and restrictions on who can and can’t collect the rent.”
With the number of older private renters in London set to double over the next two decades, action must be taken to ensure the private rented sector is as Age-friendly as possible. Age UK London’s Campaigns Officer John McGeachy explains how selective licensing schemes could help to achieve this.
“Though the typical discussion of the rental market has concentrated upon the difficulties faced by younger renters, our research over the last two years has revealed that many of these issues are faced by the older generation too. In fact, these problems frequently have an especially large impact upon the wellbeing of older people – particularly in terms of health and social care, as greater emphasis is being placed on people managing conditions at home.”
Age UK London reacts to news of the government’s new rent commitment, which will see the implementation of a new three-year tenancies model.
This week saw two positive developments for the rights of private renters across the country. First, on 2nd July, Secretary of State for Communities Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP proposed the introduction of a minimum 3-year tenancy term, with a 6-month break clause, to provide more security of tenure of private renters. In addition, yesterday saw the London Assembly agree a motion calling on the Mayor to back the campaign to abolish Section 21 – the clause of the Housing Act 1998, that allows private landlords to evict tenants without any reason – and to lobby the Government for a change in the law.
So, why are these changes important, what would they mean for older private renters, and do they go far enough? Let’s investigate…
Over the last eighteen months, Age UK London has been investigating the experiences of older private renters in London as part of our Older Private Sector Tenants Programme. Funded by the Nationwide Foundation, the research collated the views of older Londoners across a series of focus groups and individual interviews to gain a broad insight into the experiences of older renters in the capital. This information formed the basis of our brand new research report: “Living in Fear – Experiences of Older Private Renters in London”.
With the report completed, Age UK London hosted a launch event to reveal our findings at the Coin Street Conference Centre on the South Bank, find out all about the event…