Skip to main content

As a 60-plusser, the question of where to live and how to ensure a secure future becomes increasingly important.


In our previous article we explored the idea of investing into a Life Rights Scheme.

In this article, we will explore another living option that deserves consideration, known as home-sharing.

The home sharing trend is becoming increasingly popular as more South Africans are looking for ways to overcome increases in rent, inflation, cost of living and crime levels.

One option that is becoming more popular, is senior home sharing, where seniors live together in a shared household.

Why you should consider home sharing


Living alone as a 60-plusser can be a daunting thought and can often lead to feelings of loneliness. Home sharing can be an ideal option to 60-plussers living far away from family, or those who have gone through a divorce or the death of a spouse.

Many 60-plussers also cannot afford retirement villages or well-equipped old age homes, and senior home sharing can therefore be a cost-effective living option. Home sharing thus presents a unique opportunity to senior homeowners who may wish to lease their property to other like-minded seniors to save costs and for companionship. If you are also not fond of the idea of moving into an assisted living facility, having a senior housemate postpones and avoids this big move.

Studies conducted by Dr. Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, shows that home sharing can lead to people living longer and healthier lives.

In the June 2017 issue of Harvard Health Letter, he stated that: “Good, close relationships appear to buffer us from the problems of getting old”. Home sharing can also lead to older people feeling safer in their homes. Living in community also increases the likelihood of seniors staying active, doing chores or errands together, and cooking together which can all significantly contribute to their health and well-being. This allows for greater agency and autonomy and reduces the need for seniors to reach out to family to help assist them with their daily needs.

Senior Home sharing as a viable living option


As a 60-plusser, you may be faced with the situation where your children have left the nest and you may be thinking of selling your property and downsizing to a smaller home or apartment, to supplement your income. However, you may have a lot of memories attached to your home and you may wish to stay in the home which you have known and loved for years.

Senior home sharing may be an option worth exploring as it allows homeowners in this position to remain in their family home, whilst still being able to earn an income from ‘sharing’ or ‘renting’ their home to other seniors.

Home sharing is therefore a viable option for senior homeowners who are looking towards cutting costs with the added advantage of getting to form a community with other seniors. Seniors can assist one another with laundry, gardening, cooking, and providing daily companionship to mundane tasks. Receiving assistance with the aforementioned tasks can significantly lighten the burden for many individuals, who may discover that they no longer possess the same level of energy to manage all their previous activities.

Another advantage is having someone to engage in activities together, which is crucial for maintaining physical health, enhancing mental acuity, fostering social interactions, and promoting overall well-being. Activities can include, playing cards, having a games night, hiking, walking and many more.

Home sharing can also help to alleviate security concerns for seniors who are living alone, and home sharing further can cut down on transport costs as seniors can commute together in order to run errands and do grocery shopping together. You can also share costs on water and electricity, internet connections, overheads costs, utilities and much more which can significantly reduce your financial burdens.

Finding the right tenants


It is pertinent that as the homeowner or Landlord, you carefully consider who you choose as tenants.

As part of the screening process, you need to ensure that the tenants with whom you wish to share your home have the same values as you do and that your personalities will be compatible. Finding the right tenant can ensure that there is a decreased likelihood of conflict and disputes arising later on. It is also important to do a background check to ensure that the tenants you take on are not ‘high-risk’. 

MDW INC offers a service and product which can be considered as “Tinder” for tenants and landlords. This service allows for you as the Landlord to receive only pre-approved tenants who are able to provide a rental guarantee as well, if required.

“As the Landlord, this service offer will ensure that you choose the ‘best’ tenant that complies with your specific requirements.

As Landlord, you may show the rental property to between 10-20 potential tenants, but then must take a few days for background checks to be completed.

Strong potential tenants are often lost, while a tenant is being screened and then found with not the best credentials as the final tenant,” says Meyer De Waal of MDW INC one of the founding members of this service.

Tenants will often do a handshake agreement with the landlord or agent to confirm that they will be taking on the lease, but then they disappear when the deposit must be paid.

The landlord then loses out to secure a lease with the other interested tenants while chasing after the deposit of the first tenant. The Secure Deposit Holding Service (SDHS) eliminates the need of a Landlord having to chase after a deposit.

Furthermore, the unfortunate reality is that Landlords often overlook red flags and take on a tenant without having completed a proper affordability check. This then leads to situations where the tenant is unable to or refuses to pay the rent. This can become a big problem for the Landlord because evicting a tenant can be a long and costly process in South Africa as tenants are strongly protected by the Prevention against Illegal Evictions Act 19 of 1998 (PIE Act).

The MDW Inc service offering includes affordability checks which can help to avoid taking on a tenant who may not be able to pay the rental as agreed.

The lease agreement


As the property owner, it’s crucial to establish a formal home-sharing agreement.

This legal document should detail the expectations for each tenant and specify how costs will be divided.

Such an agreement will ensure that all parties understand their obligations, thus potentially avoiding conflicts in the future. It should also address responsibilities for bills and expenses, any rules regarding shared spaces, and the handling of the deposit.

It’s advisable for you to have each tenant sign an individual lease agreement. This arrangement ensures that each person is responsible for their own portion of the rent, reducing the risk for other tenants in case of a default.

Alternatively, tenants can sign a joint lease and appoint a primary tenant to collect all rent payments into a shared account for payment to you.

Considerations for Landlords


When renting to other 60-plussers, you may have to ensure that the property is safe and accessible. This may include installing handrails, ramps, or other modifications to accommodate mobility issues. These are all things which you may also take into consideration before entering into a lease agreement with a specific tenant.

It is therefore important to ensure that you take reasonable steps in order to prevent injuries on the premises and taking out insurance can protect you in such circumstances.

In addition, as the Landlord, it is important that you are acquainted with the Rental Housing Act, which regulates the rental market.




Senior home sharing can be a rewarding experience for 60-plussers who for whatever reason do not wish to live alone.

Senior home sharing has many benefits, and the cost saving aspect makes this an especially attractive option for those 60-plussers who are home-owners. This option will provide you with additional income and it can help in cutting down on costs for water, electricity and internet bills.

It can also be rewarding in the sense that you can form a community with others.


Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Readers should not act upon any information in this article without seeking professional advice. The content reflects the author’s understanding of the subject matter as of the date of publication, and laws and regulations may have changed since that time. The author and publisher disclaim any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage incurred by any reader relying on information in this article.



Meyer de Waal


021 461 0065 & 083 653 6975

Daniela Papa

021 461 0065 & 083 783 8494

Devedine Armstrong

021 461 0065 & 076 902 4027


or complete the following form and we will get back to you


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE: MDW INC, Life Rights assistance for seniors

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE: MDW INC, Your Estate Planning Partner  


Subscribe to YEI

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.