Life Safety Considerations When Renting to Seniors
Senior renters are on the rise, according to a study by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Among those renters, tenants in their fifties and sixties make up the bulk of the increase. Why? Perhaps because more and more people of this generation (Baby Boomers) are downsizing from their larger family homes. Renting allows them not to have as much responsibility or stress when it comes to home maintenance. However, renting to a more seasoned crowd sometimes comes with a separate set of issues and concerns that you may not face with younger tenants.
Here are just a few considerations:
Know and implement safety requirements.
Find out what will keep your senior tenants safe and protected. These could include accessibility ramps, staircase handrails, security cameras, panic buttons, alert bracelets, good locks and maybe even a safe. Keep hallways and stairs clear of debris, and make sure they’re well lit.
Many people of an older age depend on pets for companionship and emotional support. Rules and regulations regarding pets are often found within the lease. If you do allow pets, you may want to ask your tenants to provide carpet to help mute the sound or animals walking around the space.
Ask your senior tenants for emergency contacts, just in case. These could be close relatives or nearby friends, even if they live on your property.
Make your space senior-friendly.
According to Seniorguidance.org, here are some ways to make your space safe for seniors:
- Non-slip flooring in kitchen and bathroom areas
- Wheelchair-accessible bathrooms
- Grab bars in areas where seniors are prone to falling or losing balance
- Emergency pull cords
- Spacious, single level layouts to eliminate use of stairs
- Modern appliances
- Various floor plans to choose from
The Harvard study also finds that there still are not enough accessible units to serve the growing number of tenants with physical challenges. In 2016, the study says, 17 percent of households age 50 and over included someone who had difficulty climbing stairs or walking.
Many older tenants also live alone, according to the study. The share of households 80 and over that are single-person is 57 percent. Among renters of that same age, 77 percent live alone. Many of them must rely on non-resident or paid caregivers, and may have lower incomes than those who live in larger households.
One of the most vital amenities when protecting seniors: reliable emergency communications.
With senior tenants often come health emergencies. Kings III emergency help phones are answered by operators who are trained and certified at a level that requires more education than the typical staff of a 911 emergency center. For instance, Kings III staff will provide emergency assistance over the phone until help arrives. Peace of mind is often hard to come by for senior tenants (as well as property managers). Taking precautions like this could make a large difference.
To learn more about how Kings III can increase the safety and value of your facility, contact us here.
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