It’s no secret families with children and pets are ideal long-term tenants. Once families begin to expand, it is difficult for them to unnecessarily move from one place to the next every year or so. Recent statistics show that families generally stay put on average for three years. Those are great odds for rental property investors.
When searching for their next home, families typically have a few key points at the front of their minds. Location, schools, and safety are huge components of any home search. While thinking about safety, many property owners don’t consider that this can mean a child-proofed home for their prospective tenants. This often overlooked amenity can be a huge selling point when a family is viewing at home. If you’re looking to keep your vacancy rate low, there is no better way than to keep your tenants happy. And what better way to appeal to families than to protect their loved ones? More amenities and attention to detail equals a higher monthly rent, which in turn will boost your monthly passive income.
If you’re unsure where to start in the child-proofing game, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a short list of easy ways you can implement safety features into your rental property.
Windows + Window Treatments
Many rental properties have window coverings, or blinds, with long pull strings that can hang low to the ground. This makes it easy for young children to get tangled in the cords, and unfortunately, small children have died from strangulation. Many state legislatures are fighting to outlaw corded blinds in homes.
If you are looking for a great way to dip your toes into the child-proofing game without making it obvious, installing cordless blinds at your rental is a beautiful place to begin. They are visually appealing and are constructed infinitely better.
If you do not have the budget to overhaul every window treatment, there are still steps you can take to enhance safety around the blinds.
- Install a small hook where the cord can be tied up and out of reach of a child or pet
- Provide curtain cord covers that clip any excess cord from the blind
Additionally, ensure that the windows in your rental are secure and that the locks are in good working order. Inspecting the stability of the window panes and screens will eliminate the risk of a window falling on a child.
Electrical Outlet Covers
Once babies are on the move, there is no stopping them from exploring anything and everything they can get their hands on. Electrical outlets are no exception. Electrical outlets are a magnet for little fingers due to being eye level with a little tot. Babies and toddlers are infamous for wanting to touch outlets and stick their fingers and/or toys into the little sockets.
To protect against accidents, installing outlet covers is one of the easiest child-proofing measures you can take. There are many different options, all of which do not affect the functionality of the outlet. While this is a very inexpensive and easy fix, saving the tenant the hassle of doing it themselves is a huge bonus in showing that their landlord cares enough to take care of it for them.
If your investment property has a pool, there are steps that you must take to make accidental drowning a non-issue for tenants with children. Child-proofing the pool area will provide value for prospective tenants and protect your liability as the owner should an accident occur. Peace of mind is priceless for parents who not only want to provide a fun space for their children that is safe.
- Signage. Post signs on how the pool should be used, maximum occupancy, and any emergency directions.
- Pool Surroundings. Your property’s pool should have a fence with a tall, locked door that will prevent children from swimming unattended. The fence should be tall enough that even the most agile kiddos cannot climb over and sneak in.
- Pool Covers. When looking at safety, there are many different options for pool covers. To protect the integrity of the pool, you may opt for a hardcover, which also can withstand a person’s weight. Another option is netting, specifically designed to securely stretch across a pool and eliminate the risk of drowning if someone falls in.
- Pool Alarm. Designed to sound a loud alarm when the pool water is disturbed, this feature may make parents feel safer about having their child living in a home with a pool.
Not every rental property is one-story, and it is imperative to consider fall risks and safety when child-proofing a home.
- Inspect the stability of all fences and railing to ensure that nothing is loose.
- Be sure that balcony fencing does not have a wide enough space where a child could slide through.
- Ensure the railing is tall enough that a small child cannot fall over the edge.
While we have hit on some of the significant items, there are still many things you do to up your child-proofing game.
- Install cabinet locks
- Add child-proof door locks to all exterior doors
- Install removable, walk-through gates at the top and bottom of each staircase
- Encourage your tenant that they are welcome to do the same
- Add hand railings to exterior stairs and porches to discourage falling
- Install appliance locks and appliance anchors to ensure that they cannot fall if a child climbs on them
- Add rubber bumpers to sharp corners and edges
Going that extra mile to provide safety precautions and thus some childproofing strategies can positively affect your potential tenant’s family’s desire to lease your investment property.
If you have more questions or you want to find out more about our services and how you can have LESS HASSLE. MORE HAPPY when it comes to owning an investment property; visit our website at www.rentwisepm.com or give us a call at 208-949-3083.