A lettings trade body says the sector – and local councils – should do more to cater for the older and less able bodied renters now increasing in number.
The National Residential Landlords Association wants more co-operation with local authorities to help people with disabilities who live in the private rented sector.
NRLA research shows 79 per cent of landlords have no knowledge of grants available from local authorities, but would be willing to use financial assistance to adapt their properties as appropriate.
The association says the emphasis is on local government to promote these grants and furnish agents and landlords with more information about funding and needs.
According to Social Market Foundation research, the number of private rented sector households headed by someone aged 65 or more is set to double by 2046.
A new NRLA report called Adapting the Private Rented Sector claims that it would be in everyone’s interest for responsible tenants to have longer tenancies and for landlords to outline their willingness to provide a variety of tenancy options.
“It is our experience that landlords would be keen to facilitate such tenants, which would be to the benefit of disabled, older and vulnerable tenants looking for stability in the PRS” says the report.
Meera Chindooroy, the association’s deputy director, says: “Many tenants report they are unable to access adapted properties in the private rented sector, but at the same time, our research suggests that there has been a lack of engagement with landlords on this issue.
“The acute problems facing those with accessibility needs requires urgent attention, and it is imperative that steps are taken now to ensure that a challenge doesn’t become a crisis for the sector.
“With data from a range of sources showing the extent to which the housing market needs to respond to the UK’s ageing population, now is the time for local authorities to work with private landlords to encourage the provision of more adapted rented properties.”
This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.