Seniors rental housing

Seniors rental housing

By Christine Hopper

On retirement affordable seniors rental housing could be hard to find.

Who is looking for seniors rental housing

After retirement, private sector tenants might not be able to afford the rent for the home they had leased for many years. The rent required for a nice home unit in an established suburb could absorb the major part of any Centrelink income support benefit.

If your employment related housing was provided so that you could be ‘on call’ close to your workplace, when that role ends you might need to make your own housing arrangements. If you have even a very modest level of assets on retirement then you would not normally be eligible for public housing.

If your employer provided housing as part of your remuneration package, you could also find yourself without housing when your employment ends. If the job was in in a remote location you might want to move to a prettier place for retirement or to another town to find alternative work.
If you have very little money in the bank then you might be eligible to apply for public housing. But you would need to find somewhere to live whilst waiting for a public housing place. During your waiting period, you might need to access private sector housing.

After a relationship ends, at least one person could be in need of a new home immediately. Renting might be the only option until the assets of the partnership are split. But your share of the joint assets could be insufficient to buy another home.

Affordable long term rental housing could be available commercially in some regional centres. Retirees who are not seeking a tree change could consider the not-for-profit retirement lifestyle communities or the relocatable home parks.

Help with estimating you potential payment for Centrelink Age Pension or DSP is available.
Financial Care Services offers a Special $99 short consultation to estimate your DSP or Age Pension rate only. Call Christine on 03 9808 0338 to arrange a Special Short Consultation.

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Seniors rental housing in retirement village independent living units

Seniors who are still in good health could enjoy an active lifestyle living in an independent living unit within a retirement lifestyle village environment.

Some lifestyle community retirement villages sponsored by not-for profit groups offer independent living units for rent. A long term lease on an independent living unit within a lifestyle community could attract Rent Assistance as an addition to a means tested income support payment from DVA or Centrelink.

Many retirement villages have chosen to list with the DPS Guide. The term “Rental units” in the facility description identifies facilities that would accept new residents without big ingoing payments, as long term tenants. The DPS Guide is not an exhaustive list but it does provides a starting point.

Seniors rental housing in your own transportable home on a leased site

Seniors who like the retirement village concept but not the ‘fixed building’ could choose to be permanent in a caravan park community. Seniors with some money could choose to lease a site on which to park their transportable ‘demountable’ home. The demountable home could be a caravan plus annex or a full scale three bedroom house, connected to mains power and town water and sewerage systems.

Seniors rental housing in supported accommodation, Serviced Apartments or an SRS

When your physical strength is waning but you are still mentally sharp, a serviced apartment could provide the help you need to stay independent. Serviced Apartments generally offer main meals in a dining room plus regular cleaning of your apartment as part of the service fee. You may arrange for a local nursing or personal carer service to provide you with personal assistance such as help with bathing and dressing.

Rental only serviced apartments are relatively rare. Most serviced apartments require the residents to ‘purchase’ the apartment and then pay a monthly service fee to cover the meals, cleaning and the normal community services of a retirement village.

Abbeyfield provides affordable housing for older people and people with disabilities who wish to live independently within a supportive environment. The Abbeyfield community operates a variety of shared houses in the eastern States.

Supported Residential Services, SRS, are commercially operated private guest houses that offer some ‘personal support’ in addition to meals and domestic services. Some SRS cater for people who are physically strong but need lots of support with managing their lives. Other SRS resemble aged care facilities for people who are slowing mentally and/or physically. You cannot stay on in an SRS if your care needs exceed the maximum care level stated in your contract with that SRS.

Each SRS, supported accommodation home and serviced apartment provider sets its own scale of fees and system of charges. Many SRS charge a weekly fee only. The rental part of the SRS fee could attract Rent Assistance from Centrelink for a Pensioner resident.
Read more about SRS supported accommodation

Termination of lease for seniors rental housing

Your lease for an independent living unit within a lifestyle community or the site for a transportable home, could be terminated if you become unable to live independently because of declining physical health or mental capacity. The facility manager could ask you, or your family, to arrange more supportive accommodation if you cannot safely look after yourself alone.

The lease on any form of seniors rental housing could be terminated if you fail to pay your rent and service fees, or your lifestyle disturbs the peace of your neighbours.

Moving on from seniors rental housing to residential aged care

Seniors who can no longer live independently because of declining physical strength or reduced mental capacity might need to enter residential aged care.

Commonwealth regulated aged care is moving toward a ‘user pays’ system. All aged care residents pay a minimum of 85% of the Age Pension as the basic fee for meals, cleaning, laundry and entertainment.

The new aged care means testing system ensures that no senior who needs personal support would be excluded from Commonwealth regulated residential aged care for financial reasons. Additional Commonwealth subsidies are paid for the aged care of seniors who have few assets and just the Pension for income.

New aged care residents with substantial assets and/or significant income are expected to finance their own hoteling costs and personal support and care costs. Seniors with some assets and/or more income than just the Age Pension, are required to contribute towards their aged care accommodation costs.

Before you commit to an aged care placement consult Financial Care Services regarding your personal situation. Christine at Financial Care Services understands the new aged care accommodation cost system and the various means tested fees for residential aged care and Age Pensions. Consultations at Financial Care Services can be arranged at short notice for families needing urgent admission to residential care.

Christine at Financial Care Services could Illustrate the various Daily Care Fees and Accommodation Charges that you could be asked to pay for Commonwealth regulated residential aged care. Your Illustration could include the financial impact of retaining the former home vacant or leased, or releasing it for sale.

Call Financial Care Services on 03 9808 0338 to arrange an appointment for specialist aged care financial advice.

Financial Care Services is an independent aged care financial advisory service specialising in aged care entrants and Centrelink Pensions

Financial Care Services is an independent financial advisory service specialising in aged care entrants and retirees of modest means.  Our core value in financial advice is to assist with your money plan in the responsible management of your assets to generate the cash flow needed for your lifetime planning in your own home or in residential aged care.

Christine at Financial Care Services understands both the DVA and Centrelink Pensions systems and the Commonwealth aged care fee arrangements.

Financial Care Services is licensed to offer investment strategy advice and to assist you to invest. Financial Care Services charges fees based on the work involved in advising you and arranging your investments. Financial Care Services does not base fees on the value of your assets nor do we accept any commissions or payments from other service providers.

To make an appointment for confidential, independent and professional advice about Centrelink, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper 03 9808 0338.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is of a general nature only and does not constitute “financial advice”. You should obtain your own personal financial advice before investing any money or moving in to any retirement village, lifestyle community or aged care facility. Financial Care Services is licensed to provide financial advice to individual clients based on their personal situations. © 2015 Financial Care Services Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.