Scotland has an ageing population (Graham et al 2016). This demographic shift has significant implications for the provision of housing. Yet at the same time, the housing tenure system is also undergoing change, with a growing number of households now finding themselves in the private rented sector (McKee 2012). The combination of these housing and demographic changes means that more households now find themselves privately renting in older age. Yet little is known about their experiences, expectations, and aspirations for housing (McKee et al 2019). There is also an evidence gap with regards to how landlords themselves are responding to an ageing tenant profile. Policy at the national level has also tended to focus on the social housing and homeownership sectors (McCall et al 2020), neglecting the issues arising in Scotland’s growing private rented sector, which is now home to one in seven households.
This mixed methods study seeks to address these evidence gaps through new research that delivers tangible outcomes for the housing sector. Its overarching aim is to enhance our understanding of the challenges facing older private renters, and thereby equip and support private landlords to prepare for an ageing population. This will further enable upskilling and professionalisation in the sector through the sharing of good practice. These aims will be addressed through qualitative interviews with older renters and key stakeholders within the housing, health and social care sector, supplemented by online surveys with private landlords. To enhance our understanding of renters’ lived experience the in-depth interviews will also be completed by photo-elicitation: a key tool for enhancing our understanding of ‘home’ (Soaita and McKee 2020).