Providing Rentals For The Senior Citizen

Not all retired people want to own their own home. Many prefer to be tenants. Many feel that the proceeds from the sale of their old home can be used to supplement their pension and social security, rather than reinvested in another home. The money can be used for travel, visits to children and grandchildren or for medical expenses. For living quarters, these senior citizens prefer to be rent payers, not owners. A modest-sized apartment suits their needs and, as tenants, they are relieved of any worries about maintenance and repairs.

Construction Design

Developers and investors are finding a huge, and relatively untapped, market for rental units designed specifically for the older tenants. These are architecturally sound structures designed with the special needs and concerns of the elderly in mind. For example, these buildings have wider than usual front doors to accommodate canes and wheelchairs, handrails in the aisles, fewer stairs and more ramps and inclines, and better than usual security systems with intercoms and spotlights. Inside the apartment units, there would be conveniences that the elderly appreciate (hand grips at the tub and toilet, electrical outlets at waist level, and cabinets that don’t require bending or stretching to reach).

The Rents

When planning the investment in the rental market for the elderly, one financial objective should be to provide units that rent in a price range that is affordable for social security payment recipients. The upper end of the price range can be met by those elderly who have a private pension in addition to their social security payment. The lower end of the range should be affordable for persons who rely primarily on social security payments to meet living expenses. Any of these tenants
who have a nest-egg from the proceeds of the sale of a prior home can plan to use some of the money to upgrade into the rental unit that they prefer.

The Tenants

Elderly tenants are financially dependable because they have a dependable monthly income. They are stable tenants because they are usually not interested in moving. They almost never move because they “need more space”. They usually are quiet (no late parties) and they take pride in keeping their unit looking nice.

All of this adds up to few vacancy problems, few rent collection problems, and fewer maintenance expenses.