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CHILD-SAFE PROPERTY: HOW TO ATTRACT FAMILIES TO YOUR RENTALS

There are some great reasons to have a family as tenants. Tenants who have a family usually are further along in their lives and careers. They tend to have a steady paycheck and do not plan to move every six months as they will want their children to be stable in their schools.

Some properties could be better suited to a family, such as a place with a big back yard or a quieter neighborhood. If there are excellent local schools, it will help attract families.

Some Amenities such as playgrounds, parks and swimming pools can appeal to families. It also helps to show prospective tenants where the daycare centers and grocery stores are.

Child-friendly rentals should be embraced, not simply for legal reasons. If your building fits the bill, expect fewer vacancies, happier renters and less turnover.

PROPERTY CHILD SAFE

Here are a few of the most important considerations:

Security

Security is top priority for any building. Ensuring your units are fitted with working, updated locks, properly fastened windows, and well-lit shared spaces with motion-detecting lights will go far in deterring criminals.

Appeal to renters by highlighting any safety features your building offers like a doorman, security personnel, alarms, or cameras. A clean, well-maintained, well-lit building with diligent neighbors will boost the safety and security of the entire neighborhood.

Inspected, Well-Kept Property & Grounds

After confirming that the interior of your rental is in fact, safe, check the exterior.

Regular inspections of the landscaping and parking lot areas will help reduce injuries children could incur from playing on the property. Fallen branches, potholes, or severely cracked sidewalks are dangerous to all residents.

Include kid-friendly features like play and picnic areas. Kids play areas should include fencing and gates. Encourage slow driving in your parking lot with “Child Zone” signs, to urge visiting drivers and other residents to slow down.

Is the pathway to the front door sufficiently lit? Is the garage door working properly? If you have a fence surrounding your property, is it missing any panels or needs to be repaired?

You want your spacious backyard to be a plus to family renters, but if it’s overgrown or unmaintained, it can easily turn into a negative.

If your rental has a pool, keeping up with pool maintenance is especially important. If your drain grate or cover is broken, it’s possible that the suction from the drain can trap even an adult underwater.

No Hazards or Toxic Paint

Building owners are responsible for the safe removal of lead paint and hazards. If you need to update your building, consult with Lead-Safe Certified Contractor especially if you plan renovations while your building is occupied. Dust and debris from lead removal is as toxic as the lead itself.

Window Protection

Securing the windows is not just important for childproofing, but it will also enhance the security measures of your rental property in keeping out burglars and intruders. You will need to invest in safety locks for every window because children are curious explorers and windows are a potential accident zone. Windows should close properly

Windows, balconies, and high areas present a huge hazard for your children. Balconies and guardrails should be up to code and free of any faulty materials. Railings in older buildings may become loose and rickety. Spend time securing all banisters, balconies, and balustrades so children can’t slip through and fall. Another hazard are cords on mini-blinds—common window treatments in many rental units. The cord from blinds can slip around a baby’s neck, present a choking hazard, or catch fingers and toes. Older mini blinds are easily adjusted so they no longer contain looped string.

Fire & Carbon Monoxide Protection

It’s important to provide residents with proper fire safety instructions and protection. Detector regulations and requirements vary from state to state, but in building owners are responsible for installing working detectors.  Check your state regulations for additional requirements.

Carbon Monoxide detectors are another important feature for apartment buildings. Detectors are inexpensive to install but provide you and residents with protection and peace of mind. Consider installing extra detectors, implementing a fire safety plan, and offering additional working fire extinguishers to protect your tenants and building.

A child-safe property is safer for everyone.

Pool Safety

A pool is a wonderful feature for apartment buildings and offers a huge appeal to potential renters. If your building features this great amenity, pool safety should be your number one child-safe property concern. Clearly post rules in pool areas and management personnel should follow all pool safety regulations.

Take precautions so everyone can enjoy the pool without worry. This includes a reliable fence or barrier surrounding the pool and deck, as well as adequate locks on any entrances. Life preservers, first aid kits, and even an on-duty lifeguard during pool hours will also ensure the safety of children and other occupants.

Coverings for Radiators and Heat Pipes

If your building features radiator heating and heat pipes, these may be dangerous for young children who don’t know to avoid these hot areas. While parents are responsible for covering and protecting their child from playing near these areas within their apartment, you as the building owner can give them ideas on how to do that. Allow them to install a simple radiator coverup, or cover heat pipes with pipe-wrap. Suggesting ideal materials for covering the pipe will prevent DIY disasters and melted “hacks” they may come up with on their own.

Baby Gates & Safety Equipment

Not all door frames are baby gate friendly. If your units feature wide doors, parents may need to pad the gates by including wooden blocks on the doorframe. Landlords and building managers can encourage and support parents by allowing leeway with the installation of safety-friendly equipment, anchoring bookshelves and furniture to walls and drilling into cupboards to install safety latches.

Designated Play Areas  

Sandboxes, designated areas for sports activities, or courtyards with grass are child-friendly and easily marketed as added bonuses for potential renters. Not all properties feature space for children’s play areas, those with larger open grounds, backyards or recreation centers can provide family-friendly entertainment to keep them out of harm’s way.

Local School Districts, Parks and Kids Activities Nearby

Research the best school districts in your area when considering properties to invest in. Families will be willing to pay much more to ensure that they’re children get a quality education. Also, find out which kid-friendly activities are within a few miles of the home. Be sure to have a list of nearby attractions that will make families excited about moving into your house.

Add Some Family Friendly Features

Families also need a lot of storage space. Consider adding built-in shelving or bookcases, or perhaps a large shed in the backyard. You may also want to prepare the house to decrease the amount of work involved once the family moves out. Wood flooring, for example, may be easier to clean than carpets and you may want to use paint, fixtures, cabinets, and countertops that can hold up to extra activity.

Consider Allowing Pets

Allowing pets is an excellent way to make your home stand out among others in the area. Many people consider their pets to be loved members of the family. Children are particularly attached to their furry companions and parents are usually willing to pay more rent for a house that won’t force them to abandon Fido or Fluffy.

Accessibility

Parents appreciate the accessibility of important services like a hospital, pharmacy, market, library, and bus stops.

Many landlords fear that childproofing would be expensive and end up being legally challenged for basic safety hazards involving children. When renting out your property to a family with children, you need to take multiple precautions and safety investments. It is important to sit down with your tenants and discuss their views on an adequate childproofing strategy.

Whether your target tenants are families, college students or retirees, your property should be marketable for all ages and family types. Taking the necessary steps toward a child-safe property will also go a long way in making the current tenants of your rental units safer as well, and that is of marketable value.

 

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.