Kids and Capers: Should You Rent to Young Families?
There are a lot of things to consider when renting out your property and there’s a reason that so many landlords say their ideal tenant(s) are young professionals.
Young professionals are considered the most reliable when it comes to rent being paid on time and in full, and they are also less likely to have children and pets, both of which can take their toll on a property.
All tenants should have contents insurance, to cover any loss or damage and this is true for both young professionals and families. There is always a risk! Rent Guarantee Insurance is also essential, no matter how reliable you think your tenant is. With no guarantee there won’t be future lockdowns, it’s important to make sure that you plan for all eventualities!
As we’ve covered before, pet owners need properties and so do young families. So we’re here to convince you that families can actually make great tenants!
Should you rent to a family?
Despite the preconceptions, renting to families can actually make your landlording life easier:
- Long term tenants. Families are looking to put down roots. Moving is stressful anyway, but it’s doubly stressful with young children to care for at the same time, so they are likely to stay much longer than a young professional, who may up and leave in pursuit of a better opportunity elsewhere.
- Families over HMOs. If you have a multi-bedroom property, a family is a better bet than a HMO. HMO properties encourage transience, so you are more likely to be looking for a tenant fairly regularly. Whereas a family would utilise all those rooms and you don’t have to worry about finding a new tenant to swap into rooms when someone moves out!
Despite the pros, there are, as with anything, some disadvantages to consider:
- Damage. Most landlords are worried about their property. From spills on carpets, baby-proofing and scribbles on the wall, it’s understandable that you’d be worried about the state your property would be left in.
- Growth. Families can outgrow your property, whether this be because they have more children or need space when the children get bigger, they may decide to move on to somewhere with more room.
- Location. Families are more likely to consider the neighbourhood they’re moving to than a solo or child-free couple might. While everyone will be looking into crime rates and street safety, families will also be looking for proximity to schools and fun things for the kids to do, so if you don’t have good-ranking schools in your area, you may struggle to find a family that wants to move into your property.
However, these really don’t have to be issues you lose sleep over!
Creating a family home
While adults are happy to live without putting any personality on the walls, most kids want their dream bedroom and parents really want to make that dream come true. So your tenants may ask you if they can decorate a room as a nursery or as a young child’s room and the answer can be a really enthusiastic yes:
- Semi-permanent options are quick and easy and leave no damage. With the internet at your fingertips, it’s easy to find stickers and wall decals that can add something special to a room, but can be peeled off easily when your tenants move on.
- Allowing your tenants to go to town is also an option! You could agree with them that they are allowed to repaint, put up pictures and anything they may wish, on the understanding that this be put back as it was when they move.
If you choose to let your tenants’ redecorate, ensure you have a visual log of what the room looked like before decoration – you can use our inventory check in for that! – and a written agreement of what the tenants will change when moving out.
Having clear communication now will hopefully prevent any issues later, but will also protect you should they fail to meet their side of the agreement, so you will be able to keep some of the deposit to undo the work, should you need to.
Your tenants are responsible for making their home safe for their children. This means:
- Ensuring that all sockets are covered with socket protectors
- Installing baby gates
- Putting corner protectors on sharp edges, like coffee tables
- Latching cupboards (especially those containing poisonous items or heavy things that could fall)
- Removing any looped cords on blinds or curtains
These things are going to be at the forefront of a responsible parent’s mind, so they shouldn’t be a worry for you.
But there are some things that you can help with so that you can protect your property from the wear and tear of children:
- Consider installing laminate flooring instead of carpets, so any spills can be easily cleaned up and won’t leave any telltale stains in the shagpile.
- When updating your property, it’s worth investing in washable paint, so that any art attacks can be easily cleaned away and won’t need repainting after your tenant has left.
- Get an inventory check in, so you can ensure that your property is returned to you in the same condition it was in when rented to your tenants.
If you work closely with your tenant to make all these little changes, you’re likely to have a very happy and comfortable family in your property, which is good news for you as well as them!
However, it’s always worth taking that final step to protect your property, making sure that your tenant has contents insurance. With our contents insurance, your tenant is covered for up to £2,500 worth of accidental damage to your property, which is good news for both of you!