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Renting to Families

9th Sep 2019

Category: Property advice

With the image of mucky handprints covering the walls and muddy school shoes stomping through carpeted floors, landlords are often reluctant to rent to families with children. However, if your property is managed well this is a fantastic group to rent to. Find out why, and how to attract family renters below.

Positives of renting to families:

  • Families tend to make for more reliable and stable tenants. With children likely to be attending local schools, parents tend to want a stable environment which does not involve moving once a year (as young professionals or students are more likely to do). For landlords this means long term tenants and less rental voids and time on the market.
  • Although there is sometimes a perceived risk that renting to families will entail more damage and require more property maintenance this misses the point that greater turnover of tenants requires more time and money to be spent on maintenance preparing the property for new tenants to live in. So while you may have a few mucky hand prints around, you’ll almost certainly save money in the long term.

Things to be aware of:

  • You should always ensure before marketing your property to families that your property would be suitable for children. For example, if it’s a HMO or a small city centre flat with no space for children it probably is not suitable. As a landlord you have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of your property and tenants so this must be a primary consideration.
  • There are no rules in England prohibiting landlords from rejecting tenants with children, however you should be aware that under the Equality Act you must not set rules which indirectly discriminate against an applicant for who they are (i.e. their sex, race, religion or disability). For example, if a landlord set a blanket rule against letting to families and rejected a pregnant single mother from letting their property this could be seen as discrimination on the basis of sex.

How to attract families:

Marketing: It might seem obvious but the first thing to do is make it clear in your property advert that the landlord welcomes families by listing the property as ‘an ideal family home’ or similar. This first step often escapes landlords and agents, but is vital in securing a marketing edge. Families often come up against barriers when looking to rent as some landlords prefer not to let to families, so they are blocked out of the process from the start. If you are happy to rent to families, you should be using this to your marketing advantage in order to attract a wider pool of potential tenants and find the best ones for your property. It’s also important to emphasise local attractions which will be an asset to families such as good schools, parks and community activities. Finally, think about the internal space such as whether there is any flexible living space (e.g. a room that could be used as a playroom for kids, or a separate study for parents looking for a quieter place to work from home).

Enlisting a trusted agent: With vulnerable occupiers (children) present in the property, it is imperative that you enlist a professional, regulated agent. Families will look for qualifications and regulation like the ARLA Propertymark for peace of mind that their property will be managed and maintained to the highest standards.

Lindsay

Lettings Manager (NFOPP Level 3)

Life-long Nottingham resident Lindsay previously worked as a Senior Negotiator at a fast-paced, multi-branch letting agency. She is fantastically skilled in all aspects of the lettings process and great at building relationships with our landlords. She is excited to dive into her new role as Lettings Manager and has recently completed the Technical Award Level 3 in Residential Lettings and Property Management with ARLA Propertymark.

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