With the property ladder feeling out of reach for more and more people and renting on the rise, it is far from uncommon to find a family looking for the perfect rented property. This leaves a large pool of potential families of tenants for landlords to market to.
So, how do you make your buy-to-let property perfect for a renting family?
Safety is a huge aspect a family will consider when choosing the right home. If your property has a spiral staircase, an unsecured garden and is right next to a main road, it could be a total no-go for a family with young children.
Put yourself in the shoes of a parent when looking around your buy-to-let property. You’ll probably notice a lot more safety hazards than you would have otherwise. As mentioned, features such as a spiral staircase or a staircase with big gaps in banisters or gaps between the steps will probably be considered too unsafe for small children, toddlers and babies.
To make your property as safe as possible, make sure the garden is fenced off properly with a secure garden gate. That way, children can safely play outside without parents worrying that they are going to wander off. And whilst paved gardens are low maintenance in rented properties, there’s nothing better than a soft lawn for children to play on, so consider this when looking at the outside space.
Inside the property, consider installing window locks and safe blind cords. You could also add plug socket covers over any plugs to avoid any little fingers prodding where they shouldn’t.
Families come in all different sizes, but the more space that you can offer for them to live in, the better. If you have a small terraced property with no parking or garden, you are likely to be overlooked by many families. This kind of property would be better suited to a couple or young working professional.
To suit a family, your property should ideally have at least 2-4 bedrooms, a good amount of storage and space outside to park a couple of cars. If you really want to capitalise on the family renters, could you add another room somewhere in the property to accommodate for an extra bedroom? You could do this via adding an extension, or perhaps converting a loft space. Perhaps there’s a dining room that you could market as a playroom? Any extra space to house mountains of children’s toys is always appreciated by parents!
Your buy-to-let may be the perfect property for parents if it is located in a nice neighbourhood in catchment areas of good schools and nurseries. Parents also look for homes close to parks, playgrounds and leisure centres. Properties in inner-city areas are often less desirable for parents, and many prefer suburban areas or villages with good transport connections.
If your property ticks any of these boxes, make sure you shout about them when marketing and advertising for prospective tenants. You are sure to attract some much-wanted attention.
The small things within a property also matter. Kids create a lot of mess, so the easier a property is to clean, the better. This includes installing hard flooring as opposed to carpet – much better suited to deal with spillages! Whilst you can opt for carpets, try and choose stain resistant options.
Children also have a tendency to slam doors open, so install some door stoppers behind all doors to stop damage to the walls. Speaking of the walls, choose a high-quality, wipe clean/washable finish or satin finish paint as this can withstand much more wear and tear. Kids and walls are not a match made in heaven and parents will be no stranger to splatters and sticky hand marks. The easier you can make it for them to clean, the happier they will be and the happier you will be at the end of the tenancy!
When renting to families, remember to compare landlord insurance policies to ensure that you have the best cover in place. Whilst families can be an amazing group of tenants to rent to, children can cause damage.