Retired couple live in tent over summer to avoid rent amid cost of living crisis

A recently retired couple decided to live in a tent through the summer in a bid to save money on rent.

John and Paula Dempsey sold their home in the Scottish Highlands and are moving 500 miles away to Deeside, Wales.

The pair has lived in Scotland for the last 17 years but made the decision to downsize to a three-bedroom, detached new build home, Hull Live reports.

But as the new home won’t be ready until September, John, 73, and Paula, 66, have taken to France to spend their days camping by the Spanish border, avoiding the expense of short-term rental properties in the UK.

Paula, who previously worked for the NHS as a paramedic, said: “We were ready to downsize as we’re increasingly aware we’re getting older and need to start looking towards the future.

“Our newer home will be warmer, more energy and economically efficient and closer to local amenities, so we can enjoy our retirement.”

The couple also wanted to move closer to their children, swapping the long drives from Caithness, Scotland, to a shorter journey to their respective homes in Lancashire and Devon.

John, a retired health and safety consultant, added: “We’ve been living in Scotland for 17 years, so when we started looking to downsize it was everywhere from Glasgow all the way down south.

“We were actually looking for about nine months, but when we saw Dutton Fields we knew it was just right for us.”

With the energy price cap due to rise again in October, the cost of living crisis motivated the retired couple to make the decision to downsize once and for all.

Paula added: “The soaring cost of energy prices mean it was definitely the right decision to move to a new-build with plenty of insulation.

“Compared to our former Edwardian house in the Highlands, we’re fully expecting our fuel bills to be significantly lower.”

Mark Hadfield, Managing Director, Merseyside and Cheshire West, Countryside, said: “The cost of living crisis is seeing a real trend towards new build living due to the vastly improved energy performance presented by these properties

“Energy saving is a huge draw for many homebuyers because of the reduced environmental impact, not to mention lower fuel bills.”