As a landlord, knowing the trends in the private rented sector and how to better attract long-term tenants are both important considerations.
Family tenants are often reliable and likely to cause you little hassle, with recent research by the National Landlords Association (NLA) suggesting that properties rented to families take up the least amount of property management time – up to eight hours a week – compared to other tenants.
Why should you target family tenants?
While some landlords may dread the idea of renting to parents with children (crayon scrawled on freshly painted walls, mess on the carpets, etc), there’s good reason to target families as tenants.
For the most part, tenants with children are often further along in their careers than younger, single tenants. Families are also more likely to stay put, as parents would rather keep their children rooted in one place, especially if they attend local schools.
In fact, between 2006-07 and 2016-17, the number of households with dependent children in the private rented sector increased by about 966,000, according to findings from the English Housing Survey.
And it’s easy to see why. Renting a home is a practical and flexible option for thousands of families and, as such, landlords can benefit from this growing market by providing family tenants with family-friendly properties that are too good to refuse.
If you have the type of rental property that you believe would be perfect for this demographic, you will be eager to figure out the best ways to attract families to your property.
Here are some of the ways you can do this...
1. Family-friendly garden
Gardens and other outdoor spaces can offer a great, safe place for children to play. If you have a garden, it’s a wise idea to make sure that it is free from gravel, shingles and other hazards. You’ll also need to keep the space as neat and tidy as possible to increase its appeal.
To make sure the area is secure, ensure that all fences, gates and doors are in fine working order.
2. Location matters
For many families, it’s all about location, location, location. Most parents will want to be within the catchment area of a high-performing school – if you have good or outstanding schools nearby, be sure to let would-be tenants know - and amenities such as parks, leisure centres, playgrounds and shops. Having a rental home in a family-friendly area is a bonus for many landlords and a must-have for tenants.
What’s more, if you have a home in a family-friendly area, demand from tenants is likely to be high. This will increase the chances of your home being continually occupied, bringing in solid, stable rents and preventing void periods.
3. Safety and security
Your property could be in the perfect location with plenty of amenities, but that won’t matter much if it isn’t safe and secure. Parents have extra safety concerns when it comes to their children, so safety locks on toilets, ovens and windows make for an affordable yet effective addition to your home that will impress tenants. Consider security systems and double-check if railings and banisters are secure, as parents will check for these small details.
4. The right family space
Most families require a practical home containing two, three or four bedrooms with plenty of space, parking and storage.
While you may not be able to change the number of rooms in your property, you can consider turning a small study or spare room into another bedroom. You could also try converting unused space in a garage or basement into a play area or games room.
Families who feel at home tend to stay longer and look after the property well. Therefore, landlords might want to consider being very flexible when it comes to factors such as keeping pets and redecorating.
Leniency can enable families to be freer when it comes to furniture and decorating the home, especially when it comes to their children’s rooms.
Whatever you decide, make sure it’s outlined in the tenancy agreement to ensure boundaries are clear.
Family tenants are rising in numbers - with evidence to suggest that they now account for a larger part of the private rented sector than young professionals – so it’s certainly a demographic that you should consider targeting your home towards.
At Owl Search, we can help to get your home let in Hertfordshire, Borehamwood, North West London and the surrounding areas. Please get in contact with us on 020 3432 3888.
What’s more, we provide free online valuations to allow you to see what rental you could achieve for your property.