Seniors, of course, represent a growing target market for owners of rental complexes. That's because there is a school of financial thought advocating selling the family house when aging.
One reason why selling is recommended is to avoid the uncertainty of the expenses associated with home ownership. Those range from boosts in property taxes to major repairs not covered by insurance.
There's great irony in that: Sell to lock in predictability in fixed expenses.
The reality is that after the move-in incentive runs its course and it's time to renew the lease the percentage of increase could be huge. So much for the senior's ability to control fixed expenses.
Recently, I personally went to the leasing offices of apartment complexes in Parma, Ohio and Irwin, Pennsylvania. On the internet, the rents listed were significantly lower than I have been paying in Austintown, Ohio.
That was on the money for the length of the initial lease.
After that, there was no set percentage of increase. The monthly rent for the next lease could increase $15 to $40 or more. That would depend, I was told, "on who owned the complex then." And, of course, the year after that the rent could and probably would increase again - and how much would be at the whim of the owner.
Obviously, that lack of a cap on the percentage of increase for seniors can trigger homelessness for that vulnerable population.
In Tucson, Arizona, where many from the coasts relocate to semi-retire or retire, annual increases could be $50 a month. After all, that location is "branded" as "affordable for retirees." And the naïve come and rent. They hadn't been aware of the dynamics of Landlord Nation.
Soon enough, as the rents keep going up, those who had come to AZ have to sell their cars, downgrade their supplemental insurance for Medicare, and start working jobs in the supermarket bagging groceries.
They're the lucky ones. Others simply have to let go of their apartments. They live on the street or with relatives.
Federal and state officials have to pursue initiatives to lock in the annual percentage of rental increases for those over-65 in all apartment complexes. Those designated for the aging with special fee schedules are not the answer. They usually have long waiting listings. And residing in a senior-only community can be a turn-off to many.
Campaign 2020 for national, state, and local positions has to make the cap on rent increases a major issue. Landlord Nation needs to be more closely regulated.
Right now there are 76 million Baby Boomers (born between 1945 and 1965) and 45 million Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1981). That's 121 million who may not be able to keep a roof over their heads.
Coaching on all aspects of aging, from careers to retirement. Complimentary consultation. Sliding scale fees. Please contact aging expert Jane Genova email@example.com. Read her syndicated site https://over-50.typepad.com.