Are you thinking about renting as a senior? If it's been a while since you've rented, or this is your first time, there are some important factors every senior should know. Before you start the apartment search, know what's available to you—from your neighborhood options to budgetary assistance to your renter rights.
Read on for our guide to renting as a senior.
First things first—if it's been a long time since you've rented (or maybe you haven't rented at all), you may not be aware of the perks of being a senior renter. While going from being an owner to a renter can be a big shift, it's not without its own benefits. Some benefits may include maintenance being taken care of by your landlord—this includes malfunctioning appliances, gutter-cleaning, yard-work and general upkeep. You also have a community of people at your fingertips—apartments can be a great way to easily meet new neighbors.
If proximity to your favorite spots is an important factor in where you live, don't forget to scout your potential neighborhood when searching for a rental. Do you generally prefer having amenities within walking distance? Do you appreciate having bus stops or other methods of public transportation close by? If you're strongly considering a rental property, take a walk around the area and pinpoint a potential grocery store, pharmacy, clinic or other important service providers within a few blocks. This can come in handy, depending on mobility.
The apartment or rental unit itself should offer the amenities you require, too. While not all seniors are in the market for the same things, look for signs that property managers are considerate of the wide range of potential senior needs. On your walk-throughs, look for ramp access to first-level apartments, bars in the tubs and showers and plenty of floor-level cupboard and storage space.
What about paying for your rental? Retirees can be in a variety of financial scenarios, but a fixed-income can benefit from having the same monthly payment that comes with renting and not having to budget for costly home repairs. South Dakotan renters may also qualify for assistance opportunities if they meet certain qualifications. These include income, size of rental and age—to see if you qualify, click here to read more.
When you're on the hunt for a new apartment or rental home, it's important to remember that you have certain protections under federal law. If you feel you're being discriminated against based on a disability, for example, it's within your rights to report that violation. You have the right to a safe, functioning space when you enter into a rental contract, so you can feel secure that you are protected. Read more about fair housing rights here.