Tenure insecurity and exclusion: older people in New Zealand's rental market

Declining home ownership among older people throws a spotlight on tenure insecurity. Almost 97,000 people aged 65 and older live in rental accommodation now, and this is expected to rise rapidly as younger renters reach retirement. Older tenants are potentially marginalised in a highly competitive rental market with few provisions relating to tenure security. Despite evidence that older people are among preferred tenants, they can also face unrealistic expectations from landlords about their capacity to maintain a tenancy. Furthermore tenure security may be compromised as housing needs associated with age and health are poorly met by the market. This paper reports on interviews with older tenants in two of New Zealand’s regions with high proportions of older people. Older tenants suggest that tenure security is multi-faceted including a good relationship with the landlord, a comfortable, well maintained dwelling, and affordable rent.