With over 20% of prospective tenants having children, as a landlord you need to prepare to rent your property to families at one point or another. While you might be worried about the additional damage children could make to your property, as well as extra noise that might annoy neighbors, there are plenty of ways to childproof your property. After all, it is illegal to refuse to rent your property to families with children!
The Fair Housing Act states that landlords must not discriminate against families with children under 18 when renting out their property. This means that there must be no occupancy limits, and the rent you charge must be the same as you would charge a single adult. So, what do you need to keep in mind when renting to families with children?
- Consider making the flooring child-friendly. If you are expecting to rent your property to children, you could change carpets to wooden or vinyl flooring to prevent staining. However, if you are concerned about children making noise when living above other tenants, carpet or rugs are the best option to absorb the sound.
- Think about whether you want to set quiet hours for all residents. Remember, you can’t enforce rules which only apply to certain tenants. If you want to reduce the chances of children disturbing the peace, you might want to set quiet hours for the entire residence.
- Child-proof the property. To keep things safe for children, you should do some child-proofing before they arrive. Consider things such as removing cords from blinds, adding locks to cabinets and drawers, fastening large pieces of furniture to walls to avoid them tipping over, and using electrical outlet covers.
- Add a protective coating to painted walls. If you are worried about scuff marks and scratches to your walls, a protective layer like AGS Wall Guard can easily be cleaned and is resistant to these marks.
- Make sure your security deposits are large enough to cover any damage. Remember that you will have to charge all of your tenants the same security deposit, but ensure that it will be enough to cover any accidental damage that children may cause to your home.
Jack Vale is a writer in partnership with home and business table base distributors, Tablebases.com