Accidental landlords - Many over 50s didn't set out to rent

Monday 7 July 2014

A fifth of landlords over 50 became one by ‘accident’ due to inheriting property

Accidental landlords - Many over 50s didn't set out rent

•    On average, landlords over 50 own two properties
•    32% of landlords have had tenants refusing to pay rent
•    One in 10 landlords have had a court battle with tenants.

A poll of landlords aged 50 and over has revealed that a fifth only became one by a twist of fate. These “accidental landlords” may have inherited a property in a relative’s will or found they have a spare house after moving in with a new partner.

Becoming a landlord is not for the faint-hearted however, as a poll of over 900 landlords by Saga Landlord Insurance has revealed. The average over-50s landlord owns two properties and just under half of them manage the property themselves, this means taking on all the challenges of being a landlord such as unpaid rent, damaged property and dealing with repairs including burst pipes or boiler trouble. 

The poll also reveals that 32% of landlords over 50 have had tenants who’ve refused to pay rent, 27% of those asked said tenants had damaged property and one in 10 (11%) have had to take legal action against tenants. One in eight (12%) landlords say they have lost rent after evicting a tenant.

There seem to be a lot of future landlords in Britain too, according to the polI. Asked if they had inherited a property, more than one in 10 of 10,600 over 50s said they would rent it out. In addition, 12% of “accidental landlords” say they expect to inherit more property in the future.

Some would-be landlords are put off by the costs and pressure associated with letting out property. Two fifths of over 50s asked say potential disputes with tenants would prevent them letting a property. Almost the same number are put off by the costs of maintenance.  

New Defaqto 5 Star Rated Saga Landlord Insurance provides accidental damage cover as standard, legal expenses cover and optional rent guarantee cover, so landlords, both seasoned and accidental, are not left too out of pocket if the unexpected strikes.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, commented: “It seems that ever more over 50s are becoming landlords, whether by accident or design. Those who manage their own properties take on a huge amount of responsibility, so getting decent insurance cover to help them out if things go wrong is vital.”


Notes to editors:
*Populus interviewed 10,630 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 15 and 23 May 2014. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides
by its rules; for more information see

About Saga Landlord Insurance

With round-the-clock service and a high level of cover as standard, if a problem strikes, Defaqto 5 Star Rated Saga Landlord Insurance helps protect your property, pocket and tenants.

It includes:

•    Accidental damage cover – we’ll replace any items that you or your tenants accidentally break
•    Unlimited legal advice, plus up to £100,000 to cover the cost of any legal proceedings relating to your property
•    Optional rent guarantee cover – if your tenant stops paying and refuses to move out, we’ll cover your rent during the eviction process.

Share this page

Get In Touch

The Saga Group Communications Team only deal with enquiries from the media.

If you're not a journalist, visit our contact us page for a full list of telephone numbers.