Senior renters are the best of both worlds. They don't like to skip payments and they are the least likely to involves themselves in criminal activity. The fact that seniors prefer to stay put in one spot is also an added bonus for rental property owners looking for a long term tenant.
If you are hoping to make your rental property an enticing option for a senior tenant, there are four things you should know:
Get real familiar with the Fair Housing Act because it clearly states that you may not discriminate against applicants based on age. In other words, don't choose the 30-year-old applicant instead of the 81-year-old candidate just because you like the number 30 better. All qualified applicants must be afforded an equal opportunity and equal consideration before selecting your tenant. In addition, make sure all of your advertising reflects that you are open to tenants of all ages. Better yet, check out the Fair Housing Act to better understand legal protocol.
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Landlords are not legally allowed to inquire regarding a senior applicant's mental health or physical condition. If an obvious handicap is visible, landlords may not inquire nor make a decision about renting the property to a qualified applicant based on such condition. As a rental property owning landlord, it is your financial responsibility to ensure the appropriate adjustments are made to your home such as the installation of a wheelchair ramp or bathroom grip bars, for example. Ensure that you have taken all the appropriate measures to ensure a low probability of injury acquired by the tenant due to your failure to properly maintain your rental. Maybe a chair lift would be worth the cost in order to ensure your renter's protection. Evaluate the property and ask someone to check it over with you. Notate items to be addressed and make your home as safe and comfortable as possible for your next tenant.
Senior renters consider property security to be of utmost concern. Elements such as lighting, solid door and window locks, smoke alarms, fire alarms, etc. should be installed and in prime working order. If the property lacks the appropriate outdoor lighting, the tenant could easily incur an injury. Make sure to do a safety and security check on your rental property.
Streamlining in order to create an easy process for tenants is crucial for senior renters. For example, don't expect your senior renter to drive to your home to drop off the monthly rent. The majority of a senior tenant's driving might be done during the day-time. Perhaps they don't drive at all. Also, many senior do not own computers and might not know how to remit monthly rent payment electronically. Create a process which will work smoothly and easily for your tenant, resulting in the least amount of effort on their part. This action will provide relief for a senior renter who might otherwise struggle.
Our senior population is invaluable and, unfortunately, often overlooked. Treat them with respect and consideration and you will have a happy, long-term tenant and a good friend in the end.