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Renting apt for elderly parents...
Old 03-14-2019, 10:09 AM   #1
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Renting apt for elderly parents...

Hi all, hope I'm posting this in the right place, if not, mods, please move as needed. Apologies in advance for the long post, this one needs a bit of background (if it matters, this is in California):

I am FIREd, with elderly parents that are also retired. My parents have burned through all their assets and have no income other than SS, which covers their daily expenses, not much more. I have been helping my parents the last 10 years or so by letting them live in a second home I own on the outskirts of the city, rent-free, so everything has been fine.

Unfortunately, for various reasons, including my parents' health and their desire to relocate, I will be selling this home this year. The central, downtown area my parents would like to move to really doesn't offer many options beyond renting, which is OK with us, and I've offered to continue assisting them by paying the rent for them.

Here's the problem - as I am FIREd, I have no income stream to show other than my minimal dividend returns each year. I would not qualify for any of the rentals based on my income (although clearly I would based on assets, and my 800+ credit). I know this topic comes up time to time and realize that I could eventually find a landlord willing to allow a lease if I show proof of my assets, but would still be an outlier and have some trouble finding a landlord willing to play ball.

However, the wrinkle I have is that I would not be living at the apartment, my parents would. They absolutely would not qualify for any rental (no assets or income, horrible credit). I imagine most landlords would balk at the idea of non-lease tenants with no income and horrible credit living in their apartment...on top of all that, rentals are in high demand in the new neighborhood they are looking at, so I'm assuming landlords are generally not going to be flexible.

From what I've gathered trying to research this online, it looks like my only option is to purchase a property again, maybe a small condo unit, but I'd really prefer not to purchase again, so if there's anyone with renting/landlording experience in this type of situation, I'd love to hear about it. Or perhaps I need to be looking at a specific type of rental unit, maybe senior living apartments would be more accommodating to this type of situation? (although they are even harder to get into in this area, from what I've heard)

Thanks for reading, sorry again for the wall-o-words...
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:26 AM   #2
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Have them apply for low income senior housing. The wait will depend on how long the waiting list is.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:38 AM   #3
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Absolutely look for low income senior housing...and unfortunately you might have to start talking to your parents about the desirable new location they have selected. They have no money for a desirable in demand location.

Think about how much money you can comfortably afford to spend on your parents. Rent might end up being the tip of the iceberg as they age. It's a generous thing you are doing. At the end of the day you might be better off buying the apartment in your name at least you would be getting a hard asset in return for your money.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline View Post
My parents have burned through all their assets and have no income other than SS... I have been helping my parents the last 10 years ... The central, downtown area my parents would like to move to really doesn't offer many options beyond renting... and I've offered to continue assisting them by paying the rent for them.
It sounds harsh, but the "beggars can't be choosers" expression somewhat applies. Central, Downtown, California apartments are highly demanded and expensive, in practically any nice CA town.

It's generous of you to continue to absorb their rent expenses, but that shouldn't mean they can dictate the location. Senior living that isn't quite so "downtown" but is more feasible for your financial situation sounds like a good compromise. Or any other apartment that's a few miles off from their ideal location, slightly less in demand, with greater chance of landlord flexibility.

ETA: Another option besides the hassle of proving income might be to offer a larger/longer deposit - such as keeping a rolling 6-months-advance payment?
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:12 AM   #5
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Low income senior housing is definitely an option, the problem is that the wait list at most places seem to be in the 5+years range. As for being choosy, they're actually being very reasonable - they're targeting very low-end units that cost similar to what low-end units might cost outside the city. Frankly, places I wouldn't even consider livable, but they're trying to be reasonable.



The reason they need to be closer to downtown isn't for entertainment or lifestyle or anything like that - it's primarily because their health is failing, and their ability to get around is failing as well. The idea with being closer to this new area is that all the doctors and support services they need are close by (i.e. short drive while they can drive and eventually short bus/taxi/uber). So it's not so much that anyone is being choosy, if their health were better they would absolutely want to stay where they currently are.


In any case, whether the housing is in downtown or not, the thing I'm trying to figure out is if this rental approach is even plausible - i.e. is there an arrangement I'm not aware of where a normal apt landlord would rent an apt to a poor older couple with no resources/credit, if their son is willing to sign the lease? I see it as kind of like a sub-letting arrangement, but what landlord in their right mind would let someone sub-let their apt to a poor couple with poor credit?



Or should we give up on regular apartments and strictly limit our search to just low income senior housing, where I assume they would be much more understanding of this situation?
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:20 AM   #6
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A...At the end of the day you might be better off buying the apartment in your name at least you would be getting a hard asset in return for your money.

Yes, purchasing is definitely the fallback plan, but I don't know how many ambulatory years my parents have left, and I would prefer to not have to go through the buying/selling cost and process if they need to move into assisted living in the near future...
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:25 AM   #7
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Yes, purchasing is definitely the fallback plan, but I don't know how many ambulatory years my parents have left, and I would prefer to not have to go through the buying/selling cost and process if they need to move into assisted living in the near future...
Understood, unfortunately for you in a high demand area with lots of renters the questions is will the property managers even bother with someone who will require more effort and is not using the "normal" qualifiers?

You won't know until you ask..Good Luck...I'd sign up for the senior housing now waitlist or not, it could help in the future.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:36 AM   #8
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Cash is King! Just pay a year upfront and a hefty security deposit.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:03 PM   #9
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Private landlord here, so maybe not the same as grande rental consortium, but we have done rental co-signers on occasion - in fact just did a parental co-sign contract for a tenant with some emotional issues and insufficient credit numbers. Not my favorite thing to do; if the rent doesn't get paid I'm evicting the tenant, and if Mom and Dad don't care that's just the way it is. I bluster about trashing the co-signers credit in hopes of not having to evict. Landlords try and avoid having evictions so good credit scores and funding are optimal.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:27 PM   #10
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Definitely ask I was worried about the low income thing for myself because I wanted to move into a high end apartment owned by a mukti property company. They didn’t even blink. Just wanted to see proof of assets. I don’t think it was more work than normal. Probably less.

Also I hope you have already explored senior transit options. Here ( Metro Boston) we have disabled transit and then the senior center has arrangements for local medical. Maybe they can be a wee bit more flexible for location if that exists?

Safe and easy to navigate housing is a huge gift to the elderly and or disabled. You are a good child...
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:17 PM   #11
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Our DD was able to rent an apartment in NYC for grad school with minimal income with me as guarantor based on assets (we are paying the rent). That said, she does have good credit (just no significant income while in school). Hopefully you will be able to find a reasonable landlord in the area they are looking at.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:48 PM   #12
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Cash is King! Just pay a year upfront and a hefty security deposit.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:55 PM   #13
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Your parents (not you) need to offer to pay the entire year's lease in advance. That way the lease is in their names as occupants, which makes it less complicated to the landlord. I knew parents who did this for their 28 year old son who went back to school. Their first inclination was to put lease in their names, but the landlord balked at that.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:26 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone for your input, I've been out of town so not able to respond the last couple days. Sounds like the consensus is to go with offering advance payment on the lease, which should not be a problem. If I can find some landlords willing to go that route, that would be the easiest solution... I think my parents are also fine with trying to find a location with easy public transport access options, so some more options there.


Thanks again,
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:40 AM   #15
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Have you looked into Independent Living facilities?
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:57 AM   #16
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Here's the problem - as I am FIREd, I have no income stream to show other than my minimal dividend returns each year. I would not qualify for any of the rentals based on my income (although clearly I would based on assets, and my 800+ credit). I know this topic comes up time to time and realize that I could eventually find a landlord willing to allow a lease if I show proof of my assets, but would still be an outlier and have some trouble finding a landlord willing to play ball.
I am a landlord and I have rented to business owners multiple times who has spotty or no cashflow but large cash equivalent assets. Private landlords have common sense and they would rent. But the corporate landlords will not rent because they will play by the book. Good luck.

And yes, I have also rented to elderly couple with low income as long as son/daughter couple signed the lease. Landlord will most likely put all 4 names on the lease and make all of you sign the lease even though you are not going to live in the place.

PS: Some times I require higher deposit and/or advance payments depending on the situation. So please bring those points up to the potential landlord.
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