Whilst many families crave the stability of home ownership, so many other families in the UK rent their home for one reason or another. With renting traditionally seen as a way of life for younger people and a stepping stone between moving out and buying a property, it’s not always easy to find perfect family homes on the rental market.
However, families can be the perfect target tenants to rent to if your property is suitable. They are generally stable tenants who strive to live in a well maintained property for their children to grow up in, so prove themselves to be stable, long-term, tidy occupants.
So, how do you make your rental property perfect for families, or what features should you be looking out for in your next investment?
Offer enough space
It goes without saying that families need more space than individuals or couples. If your property is a two bed flat or a terraced house with no garden, it probably won’t be a first choice for a family. Most families will be looking for 2-4+ bedrooms with plenty of space, storage and parking.
Is there opportunity to convert a loft into a bedroom, or perhaps a dining room? If you have enough bedrooms, could you see potential somewhere in your property for a playroom? Utilise any space you have to appeal to parents who perhaps don’t want toys, books, prams etc all over their living area!
Location, location, location
Location is also a huge factor for families looking for the right rental property. Nice neighbourhoods get a huge tick and of course, anywhere in the catchment area of good schools and nurseries.
Being close to local amenities is also a bonus. Any parent will know that trips to the supermarket are frequent and it’s always nice to be within walking distance to a park and not far from leisure centres. These are the kind of things to highlight when marketing your rental property. Suburban areas, towns and villages are ideal for families, as opposed to inner city areas.
When you’re a parent, you notice things that people without children maybe wouldn’t when it comes to a space being safe and secure. Things like spiral staircases look great, but would perhaps be better suited to a young couple as they are not particularly safe for children. Similarly, open front gardens that lead out onto main roads may also be a red flag.
To combat this, invest in fencing off your space and keeping it enclosed. You can find all sorts of safety locks on the market that you could install on toilets, ovens and windows to help parents out. It’s one less child-proofing job for your future tenants to undertake.
The garden is also an important area to make safe and secure. Gardens are a big plus point for families, as every parent wants a nice outdoor area for their children to run around in, get fresh air and burn off some energy. Gardens need to be free from hazards such as nettles and uneven paving, along with being neat and tidy with a soft grass area for playing.
The way you would have decorated your home before children is probably quite a bit different now you have children, right? For instance, carpets throughout the home is a lovely idea but actually, hard flooring is often much more practical. They wipe clean, don’t trap odours and fluffy, soft rugs can be put down to cushion any falls.
As for the walls, a satin finish paint will be able to withstand a little more wear and tear. You could also look into using washable paint for any dirty hand marks on walls, crayoning or food splatters. Not only will this be greatly appreciated by house proud parents, it leaves you with less problems at the end of a family tenancy.
Make sure you find yourself a good landlord insurance quote to make sure you’ve got the best level of cover in place to protect your property. It goes without saying that children are not the tidiest and considerate of tenants! But if you can minimise the risk of property damage, you’ll find families to be perfect and profitable tenants.