The importance of safe, appropriate and comfortable homes for older people cannot be overstated – these elements are fundamental to maintaining health, a sense of community and independence in later life.
However, this is not the experience of many pensioners living on a low income who rent. Some live in homes that are damp and unsafe, and often feel that there is no way to resolve the problems they encounter.
All rented homes in Scotland should already meet the Repairing Standard, which sets out the minimum standards private rented properties must meet. Updated guidance is due to come into force in March 2024, which adds central heating and adequate kitchen facilities. Though many good landlords will already meet these standards, our evidence shows that some older people are living in properties that are damp, cold and neglected and, at times, fear raising concerns at all.