11 Oct 6 Expert Tips for Renting to the Elderly
Since the 2008 Great Recession, more and more individuals have switched to renting. Renting has its perks: it’s more flexible, more convenient, and less of a financial commitment. This rising rental market encompasses all types of demographics and property managers must target and treat different groups differently. Elderly tenants can be some of the best tenants to rent to. They are often times more stable and reliable as long-term residents. At the same time, however, there are several adjustments you must make to best accommodate to their age. Here are 6 expert tips to remember when renting to elderly tenants.
1. Federal and Anti-Discriminatory Laws
It is essential that you are aware of the legal implications that come with renting to elderly tenants. As a property manager, there are certain federal and anti-discriminatory laws that you must abide to that become especially relevant with older tenants. Being aware of what legal protections exist can save you from a sticky situation.
For example, according to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, you cannot discriminate because of age, race, ethnicity, sex, religion, or familial status. Additionally, the American with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against disability, as well as requires landlords to allow therapy animals regardless if pets are allowed on the property or not. Therefore, when accepting new tenants or dealing with current ones, you must be cautious that you view and treat everyone equally– regardless of any special conditions or disabilities.
2. Emergency Contact Information
Ask your older tenants to provide contact information of nearby family or trusted friends and personal doctors. It is helpful to have this information in case of emergency, and your tenants will be thankful to be surrounded and assisted by people they trust.
3. Be flexible to pets
Many older adults like to have pets around. Our furry friends can be great sources of companionship and comfort. Therefore, be flexible towards the idea of pets. This doesn’t mean that you have to allow animals in all of your properties. If desired, you can set up certain regulations including only allowing smaller animals and keeping noise levels down as to not disturb the neighbors. Having open communication will only benefit both parties. For more tips on allowing pets on your property click here.
4. Switch up your Communication Methods
While text notifications and mobile apps may come easy to the millennial generation, often times older adults need some more time to learn how to navigate and take advantage of these online programs. Your tenants will be thankful if you call in to remind them about upcoming deadlines and events. Consider leaving a flyer outside their door so that they have a physical reminder. These little considerations are of little hassle to you but can make a world of a difference for an older tenant who tends to be forgetful.
Many tenants may also be interested in learning how to use these new applications. It doesn’t hurt to take a little bit of time out of your day and patiently walk them through how to manage things online. With Rentigo, our support staff are also available via phone or email to walk your residents through how to use the online platforms!
5. Maximize Safety Measures
Update safety precautions in your property. Make sure that there are necessary accessibility ramps and functional elevators. Add hand railings by steps and inside of bathrooms and install security cameras. These features will not only keep your residents safe but also attract future tenants.
6. Dealing with Evictions
If you find yourself wanting to evict a tenant, first review the situation and decide if this is the only choice. In most cases, it’s financially smarter for you to retain them as long-term residents, even if it requires a short-term investment.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to help older tenants depending on their situation, as well as many assistance agencies and programs for the tenant. For example, local churches, offices for elder care, The Red Cross, and other organizations can provide support and assistance for different challenges. Ultimately, treat the situation at hand with patience and compassion.
Renting to elderly tenants can be very rewarding. Just be sure that you are prepared for different circumstances by reviewing our 6 tips above. As always, happy renting!