In America, under the Federal Fair Housing Act, landlords can’t refuse to rent to families with children. In the UK, no such act exists. However, denying a family with children the opportunity to rent your property is undoubtedly bad for your image, and will likely lead to public complaints against you. As well as this, you’ll be missing out on business. Families are more likely to be stable tenants – less inclined to up and move suddenly when they have the responsibility of their childrens’ schooling and care.
If your property is an Airbnb listing, the same applies! Making sure your property is child-friendly will attract a much larger number of interested holiday goers. If your rental property is spacious, in a child-appropriate neighbourhood, featuring a garden, then it’s ideal for family rental! Whether long or short term, you should make the most of your Airbnb’s family friendly potential to help your property earn the attention it deserves!
Think you have a potentially family-friendly property but not sure how to establish it as one? Follow these three tips to appeal to the ever-growing market of families.
Child-proofing measures apply to both long term rentals and Airbnb properties, but in slightly different ways.
For Airbnb properties, some good child-safety measures to install are:
- Stair gates at both the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Safety latches on cupboards, particularly those leading to cleaning products, electricals, or crockery and cutlery.
- Clearing visible wires or sharp objects; while adults can consciously navigate themselves around potential danger, young children might not be so cautious! Storing away or covering visible wires and sharp objects can help protect children from danger.
For long term rentals, some things of concern are:
- Secure garden gates, good quality locks and security alarms to give parents peace of mind about their children being safe within the house.
- A minimal amount of glass, sharp or high-value, fragile furniture if your rental property is furnished. That way, children are less likely to injure themselves. Parents will also have a better peace of mind not being constantly concerned of high-value, fragile furniture being damaged accidentally by their children and incurring the cost.
- Child-proof features like mentioned in the Airbnb safety measures above would be a draw to families with young children, but not necessary and even a detractor for those without children or with older children. It would, then, be more useful perhaps just to be willing for families to install such safety features if needed.
If you don’t allow, for example, screws or nails in the walls, families will be unable to install a stairgate. If your approach to superficial alterations to the property is more open, you’re more likely to attract families who might need to make such alterations for the safety of their children.
Child proofing can attract parents – but you might need to mindful of the level to which you child-proof. As mentioned above, having a stairgate in your short-term rental could alienate your other customers. It’s valuable, then, to make a choice as to how your property will be marketed on online booking platforms. Child-proofing your Airbnb will prove to parents that your house will be safe for their children, and that you care about their family’s well-being.
For long term rentals, the school catchment of a property is vital when it comes to parents’ housing choices. Parents want good schools in the area; they want the opportunity of a good education for their child whilst living in your property. There’s not much you can do if you already own a property in a ‘bad’ catchment area, but if you’re looking to purchase property to rent to families, researching the location is vital.
If the child lives outside the catchment of a certain school, they aren’t guaranteed a place there. If the school is good and the demand for enrolment is high, living within the catchment area can be the make or break of whether the child gets a place there.
It’s also a draw, to both long term and Airbnb rentals, for the property to be located in a child-friendly neighbourhood. Local parks, playgrounds and leisure centres can all be a factor in whether or not your property appeals to a family!
The child-friendly amenities nearby and the suitability of the area itself is a huge factor in whether or not your property will be considered by families with children looking to rent.
If you’ve got a property in a child-suitable area, and it’s all kitted out in the appropriate safety features, advertise it! There’s no use having such family-friendly features to your property if would-be tenants aren’t made aware of them!
As well as the aforementioned features, it’s also worth bringing prospective tenants’ attention to signature local sites such as:
- Tourist attractions
- Family-friendly restaurants
- Public transport
- Medical facilities
In the listing, make sure to itemise and picture some of the great family-friendly features your property offers!
Pitching your property in rental or Airbnb listings as family-friendly can greatly increase your pool of potential tenants. Choosing a property in a good school catchment area, and with local amenities like parks, pools and playgrounds can draw parents to renting from you. Kitting your property out with appropriate safety features can also encourage families concerned with the health and wellbeing of their children.
Demonstrate you care about the property’s features that parents are also concerned with, both through practical alterations to the property and the way in which you list or advertise your property, and families with children will be happy to rent from you!
For more help and advice in managing your rental property, contact our experts at Keey to see how we can help make your rental more family-friendly!