What to Know about Renting to Elderly Tenants
Renting your property to elderly tenants is often a win-win situation because many older people have reliable incomes from pensions, social security and savings. But being a landlord to elderly tenants comes with tough judgment calls you need to make every now and then.
Age discrimination against elderly tenants
As a landlord, the first thing you need to remember is that it is against the law to discriminate against prospective tenants on the basis of their age, family status, race, religion etc. While it is not a must to favor elderly applicants or tenants, you cannot disfavor them, either, by imposing extra requirements for them.
Elderly tenants with disabilities
It is also prohibited to discriminate seniors on the basis of disability. For that reason, you will not be able to evict or deny a housing application to a tenant based on certain disabilities alone, even if that makes your life more difficult.
In addition, you must make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities – at your expense, not the tenant’s. You must keep your property pet-friendly, in case disabled tenants wants to bring in a service animal. You may also have to install grip rails in showers or provide handicapped parking space near the dwelling entrance.
Boost safety measures
To guard yourself against liability, make sure your property meet the safety requirements. Ensure elevators, accessibility ramps, handrails on staircases, security cameras, and locks are in perfect working conditions to minimize risks of injuries, theft or damages.
Don’t be too quick to evict
In cases of consistently late payments, damage to property, or neighbor disturbances, you are entitle to evict but don’t be too hasty with this one. If payments are often late, approach your elderly tenant and find out what the problem is. Late rate payments may be due to forgetfulness or because a Social Security or pension comes at a certain time each month. Take action to collect, support, assist and evict an elderly tenant the right way. One day you may be that tenant.