Families are a landlord’s bread and butter. There are a lot of family applicants looking for potentially long-term rentals, so it’s easy to see the appeal of attracting this type of renter. While your rental property might be attractive to family applicants because of the location, if your rental isn’t safe for the applicant’s children, applicants will be hesitant to sign the lease. By focusing on the safety of 3 key areas on your property, you’ll attract more families to your rental and beat the neighboring competition.
Make Sure the Interior is Safe
Family applicants prioritize the safety of their children above all. If your vacancy isn’t safe, then they won’t even consider renting your property. Confirm that all windows and door locks work to where a child could not easily open them. Railings or barriers should be installed along balconies, patios, and staircases to adhere to safety guidelines. Finally, be aware of how pesticides and fumes from newly painted rooms affect new family tenants. If possible, give your vacancy a few days to air out after painting or applying bug spray especially if your new tenants are pregnant or have young children. Be aware that SB 328, effective January 2016, requires notice to be given 24 hours before applying pesticides (even over the counter pesticides) inside a tenant-occupied rental. Ultimately, if it doesn’t look like maintenance has been performed, it’ll be a hard sale.
Secure the Exterior of your Property
After confirming that the interior of your rental is in fact, safe, check the exterior. 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? As we’re getting closer to Summer, if you haven’t already, now would be the time to perform your Spring maintenance. 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. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “1 in 5 people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger, and for every child who dies from drowning, another 5 receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.” Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates, commonly in home swimming pools. So make it an effort have safety devices available nearby and consider fencing in your pool to ward off runaway toddlers.
Show you Value the Whole Family’s Safety
Unfortunately there’s not much you can do if your property is located in an unsafe area, or in an area with a poor school district. That being said, what you can do is prioritize the entire renter’s safety by setting up your own safety guidelines. Whether or not you personally perform maintenance or hire a third-party to maintain the yard or repair internal appliances, make it clear to your applicants that you value their safety by putting safety procedures in place. Talk to your tenants about how you or your hired maintenance men can make them more comfortable. This can be as simple as being aware of how to act around a jumpy pet, or scheduling maintenance times that avoid a toddler’s nap-time. Your tenants (current and future) will highly appreciate how considerate you are, especially during necessary, long-term construction.
While making sure your rental property is kid-safe might add extra work, it’s necessary. You don’t want your rental to be notorious for being unsafe, in any way. By following through with routine maintenance and by putting considerate safety procedures into place, you can easily attract long-term family tenants. Do it for the kids!
How do you currently ensure that your property is safe for children? Have you had any kid-safety issues in the past and how did you resolve them? Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to subscribe!