Like most things in life, renting a home can be a bit more difficult when you have children. It’s not just a matter of finding a home near a school or a bus route, but also securing a yard or patio, a safe place to play or parks, rec centers and libraries to keep everyone entertained. There are plenty of landlords who prefer to rent to quiet single adults who are less likely to warrant noise complaints or yield property damage. Yes, renting a home to accommodate your family can present a challenge to even the savviest of renters.
If you’ve been looking for a home to rent with your family, you probably already know what you want out of a property rental. If not, get a piece of paper and a pen to brainstorm your wants and needs as a tenant and as a parent. Are you looking for a school within walking distance, or are you going to be looking into a school bus? How many rooms do you need? Are you looking for a full house, or just an apartment? Can your children share a room? These are important questions to ask before you even begin to view places to live.
Once you know what you need in a home, it’s time to start viewing newspaper ads, online ads, and otherwise asking around for things that may be a suitable fit. Before you view anything, though, write yourself a renter’s resume that you can quickly present to possible future landlords. This document should have a detailed description of your past rental experiences, your work, your spouse or partner’s work, where applicable, and small details about your children and their interests. When you have compiled a list of homes that may be good for your family, it’s time to make appointments for viewings. Dress well for all viewings, and ensure children are on their best bevahiour if they join you in the preliminary stages.
Be open and honest with your landlord about your concerns regarding your children, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Landlords who are leery about renting to families have generally had poor experiences with children in the past. You could even consider inviting your landlord to visit your current home to show that your children are respectful and that they will have a minimal impact on the structure of the home in question.
When you visit the home, make sure that it suits your family’s needs – and think long term. That tiny bedroom might be fine for your three-year-old twins to share, but if you intend to stay in the property, it will soon feel too cramped for two school-age children. Also make sure that the doors and windows can be properly secured to avoid small children leaving the house or accidentally falling. The same goes for homes with pools – make sure the gates can be properly secured.
Lastly, express your willingness to insure your home with renter’s insurance. When you express your willingness to insure your home, you are showing that you have a respect for your own belongings, and are responsible with your finances.
This article was a contribution from RentersInsurance.com, where you can go to get a renters insurance quote for your family’s next home.
Cover Image by scottkellum via Flickr.