The number of over 60s privately renting has increased from 254,000 in 2007 to 414,000 today, new research from the Centre for Ageing Better has found.

This rising trend looks set to continue, with a third of people aged over 60 expected to be living in private rented accommodation by 2040.

Shrewd landlords are increasingly turning to the attractive investment potential of purpose-built accommodation specifically designed for older tenants.

Earlier this year, Girlings Retirement Rentals reported a rise in the number of people wanting to step off the housing ladder and rent in retirement because of the various benefits it offers.

Gillian Girling, chief executive of Girlings Retirement Rentals, said: “We’re receiving more enquiries from retired people looking to downsize from a family home and rent a manageable sized apartment in a specialist retirement development.

"Such developments are designed for older people and most come with assured lifetime tenancies.

“One of the biggest attractions of later life letting with Girlings is that we let properties on assured tenancies, rather than the usual assured shorthold tenancy in the open market.

"The Assured Tenancy provides the security which enables people to remain in their properties for life, if they choose.

"Renting can make financial sense too, allowing people to use the capital from a home sale to invest, gift or spend.

"With renting, they also don’t have to pay any property maintenance costs.”