September 26, 2017

As a landlord, your goal is usually to keep your premises occupied at all times and to have tenants that won’t give you headaches. Choosing to make your rental more attractive to elderly is one way of ensuring this. Being chosen by a senior should guarantee you regular payments, and quiet and long-term occupants.

Improve accessibility

Be prepared for different situations. A lot of senior citizens have mobility issues and some of them may even be in a wheelchair. Make your property easy to access. Install a ramp and handrails at the staircase. Make the doors wide enough for a wheelchair to go through and install doorstep ramps over thresholds, or level the thresholds between rooms. Declutter so as to avoid having tight spaces. If your property has more than one floor, install a stairlift.

Protect them from a fall

Make your unit a safer environment for your tenants. Work on some basic elements. Place carpets where it is possible to create the least slippery surface to walk on. Improve lighting throughout, as vision grows impaired with years and your tenants may have trouble seeing things especially in dark rooms. Look at the features you could improve in your bathroom. Perhaps you can have a walk-in shower instead of a bathtub. Install grab bars in the shower and above the toilet to help them maintain balance. Check the kitchen to see whether there are countertops accessible from the sitting-down position as you cannot expect them to stand the entire time while preparing food.

Protect them from intruders

A piece of general advice to all landlords would be to try to keep their tenants and their property as safe as possible. This is particularly important for the elderly as they are usually less able to defend themselves. Have good quality locks placed on your front door and your windows. Install an alarm system and an intercom which will enable them to see who is at the front door prior to choosing to open it.

Alarm and support system

Equip your property with alarm systems that will be able to detect fire or gas leaks. In order to keep the stability of your leas and the happiness of your tenant, a Senior Services Guide advises to connect them to certain people from the community who will be willing to assist them with their needs and in case of emergency. Perhaps you can help them obtain one of the personal alarm systems or arrange with someone from the community to stop by to check on them every-so-often.

It should be pet-friendly

Be that it is a guide dog, assisting with a disability or just a companion, it is certain that a pensioner is more likely to show up at your doorstep with a pet than not. They usually have more time for this commitment, need assistance and companionship, or both. Regardless of the reason, you should make your property home to an animal if needed. Leave an empty area with floor tiles and close to a window if possible to be the pet’s personal space if one shows up and be prepared to make further adjustments on your tenant’s request and carved to their pet’s special needs.

You can advertise your premises a certain way, e.g. ‘suitable for an elderly couple’ but do not let your wishes draw you to unethical behavior. Try not to discriminate against people based on their age, think they are out of control just because they are young or think that they are helpless just because they are elderly. As a landlord, you do have some level of responsibility towards your tenant. Having a good tenant-landlord relationship is a two-way street so you should invest your effort into being perfect in order to find a perfect tenant.

About the Author: Steven Clarke is a business consultant, DIY enthusiast and a regular contributor to several websites. He likes to write about real estate, landscaping, gardening, home decor, interior, and exterior design. When not working on new projects, he likes to spend his time in the great outdoors.

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