February 25 2017
Being a landlord isn’t always an easy job. In fact, it’s downright difficult. The amount of hoops you often have to jump through can leave you exhausted and sometimes wondering why you even started in the first place. However, the minute the checks start rolling in you remember why you got into the real estate business in the first place. Yes, it's not always easy. But, it's provided you with a way of having financial freedom and independence, while at the same time lets you provide housing to those in your community.
If you've been renting in your community for a while now, you've probably seen all sorts. However, as of late you may have found yourself catering to mostly Millennials because of their increasing interest in renting as opposed to buying. While this is a good thing, you may be leaving a sector of your market untapped. And that would be the elderly. Now, you may be thinking this is not a niche you want to hassle with, but there are a few things that you may need to know about accommodating the elderly now only on the landlord level, but on a legal level as well. In this article we will share with you for tips on how you can accommodate to the elderly.
1. Avoiding Discrimination
Were you aware that according to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 you cannot unintentionally discriminate against a person based on their age. Meaning, you cannot choose a millennial over an elderly renter just because they may be easier to deal with. So, if an elderly renter applies you have to give them the exact same consideration you would at a 25 or old.
2. Accommodate Disability & Mobility Issues
If you already have elderly renters, you need to make sure that you stay aware of their increasing needs. Meaning, if they need certain accommodations such as rail grips in the shower, a ramp for wheelchair access, or allowing them to have a service dog. You need to make sure that you recognize the elderly, as a protected class that they are. And accommodate them accordingly. In fact, this isn't necessarily a suggestion as much as is as a requirement to make these reasonable changes should your elderly tenant have a disability. Plus, if you take certain precautions, you can help to eliminate the risk of injuries occurring. Thus eliminating the risk of a legal issue arising.
3. Ensure Their Safety
Hopefully you would take the necessary steps to ensure any one of your tenant’s safety. However, the elderly may need a little extra protection. So, make sure that you have a good alarm system, plenty of outdoor lighting, solid locks on the doors and windows, fire escapes in the proper locations, renters insurance, and more. By having all of these things in place you not only to help to further protect your tenant, but you're also protecting yourself in the event something should happen.
4. Make Things Simple & Easy
It’s here where the little things will count. For instance, instead of having them drop off a check or having to mail a check. Just drive by and pick it up for them. Also, you can take care of certain amenities such as lawn care. Or, if you live in a cold climate you can shovel the snow off the sidewalks and driveway in the wintertime. It's these little simple things that help to keep your tenants happy, as well as help them out in their advanced age.
Essentially, all of this boils down to the simple fact that the elderly are a protected class, and by law you need to give them proper consideration and attention as tenants. It may not seem like the most ideal situation to you, but remember this. Elderly people, while they may need more care, have a more consistent flow of cash, are far less likely to commit illegal acts, and have a tendency to stay in one location for a long time. So, next time you see an elderly applicant come across your desk. Take the time and give the consideration they deserve. Give them the Real Estate Virtual Tours, and they just may end up becoming your best tenant yet.
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