Silver Renters on the Rise as More Recognize the Benefits 

Press Release: There is a rise in the number of people renting homes when they retire, according to Girlings Retirement Rentals, who put this down to changing attitudes and perceptions to renting over the past decade and the many benefits renting in later life can offer.

Girlings Retirement Rentals reports a steady growth in enquiries since 2002, with 2015 and 2016 showing the highest enquiry levels yet. The company anticipates enquiries in 2017 to continue to remain buoyant, despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

This growing trend is backed up by research from Your Move’s sister company, LSL Corporate Client Department Ltd, who found that almost one in five people aged over 55 are renting, signaling what they call the ‘rise of the silver renter.’

Peter Girling, Chairman of Girlings Retirement Rentals, says, “For many people in their 60s, 70s and 80s renting is a lifestyle choice, as well as a financial one. Many don’t want the financial burden of home ownership or worries about property and garden maintenance. By selling their home and releasing capital to supplement their retirement they can enjoy themselves, gift an amount to their children or invest it.”

“As people get older they can also find their current property is too big for them, or they feel isolated if they are left living alone. Renting can be a good solution for downsizing to a more manageable home, giving people access to services, should they need them as they get older, and a social life that comes with living in a retirement community.” 

Girling says that one of the main barriers to renting for many older people has been the assumption that all tenancy agreements are short-term. However, recognizing that security of tenure is so important to people as they get older, Girlings offer the majority of their properties on assured tenancies allowing people to remain in their property for life. This has given older tenants the reassurance that they will not have to move unless they choose to do so.

Other myths people are surprised to find out aren’t true are that only retired people can live in a retirement development, pets are not allowed and that renting can be costly. In truth, the majority of retirement developments cater to those over 60 years old many of whom may still be working, many development do allow pets (with permission) and there are rents to suit all budgets. 

The services of the development and property maintenance are also included in the rental cost, which can help people budget more effectively.

Girling adds, “Renting gives older people the chance to move somewhere they have always wanted to live, such as by the sea or closer to relatives. Coastal locations are the most popular places to rent for many people, with Bournemouth the number one requested place last year. Renting allows people the flexibility to try a new location before deciding if it’s right for them.

Eastbourne, Poole, Torquay, Southampton, and Clacton-on-Sea were also in the top ten requested seaside places in 2016, whilst Bromley, Enfield, Sidcup and Croydon were the most requested towns. 

One couple who have enjoying the benefits of renting are John and Pamela Gray, both in their 80s. They downsized from a family home in Surrey to a two bedroom apartment in Surbiton to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. The main reason they chose to rent is they didn’t want the worry of maintaining a property at their age. Also they didn’t want to leave their family with the hassle of selling a property.

John says, “The apartment is ideal for us, it is warm and the other residents are friendly and it feels very safe. We don’t have a garden to worry about and the location is very convenient, the buses go from right outside the door and there is a variety of great shops in the village including a supermarket.”

An added bonus for the couple has been the lovely retirement community they have moved into, with other residents of a similar age. There is a residents’ lounge which is usually buzzing with other people to chat to and there are regular social activities to enjoy including quizzes, coffee mornings and film nights which the couple love attending.

John adds, “There is a lot going on here socially and we really enjoy living here. As well as the social life, we like the reassurance of having a development manager on-site, and although we haven’t had to use it we have peace of mind that our apartment has the 24 hour CareLine in case of any emergency.”

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. Such a timely article. I am considering selling the house I’m in now and buying a new one. I am torn bc I don’t want to work forever and buying a new house may mean I have to work longer. I had never even thought about renting in my golden years but it is def something to consider. Thanks James!

    • For so long it was assumed that homeownership was the way to go. The truth is, that isn’t always the case. There are times and situations – yours is a perfect example – of when renting is at least worthy of consideration. It comes down to making a full financial assessment, running the numbers, and making a clear-eyed decision.

      Great to hear from you, my friend and be well.

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