When it comes to renting a new a family home, I’d like to think I know a thing or two. Our family has always rented the houses we’ve lived in, and we’ve learnt a few pointers along the way. With more families renting now than ever, I thought it was time to share my tips on choosing a rental property for the family.
Things to consider when renting a family home
Although not everyone will have the same needs when looking for a family rental property, some parts of the checklist are pretty universal.
Research the area you plan to live in
If you’re moving to another town or an area you’re not familiar with, it pays to check out where you’ll be living. CIA Landlord Insurance has created a local property stats tool to get a better idea of what goes on in your (potential) new neighbourhood. I put my own postcode in and spotted that although most crimes were low, there was a lot of antisocial behaviour in my neighbourhood! Luckily I’m on the edge of the neighbourhood so we’re never troubled.
Check how close you are to amenities
I like to live within walking distance of a shop. Ideally, I prefer to live nearish to a complex that involves a place to eat, a pub and a hairdressers, that way I don’t need to travel into town. I don’t think I’d get on very well if I didn’t have a convenience store (at the very least) nearby.
Double check the facilities meet your needs
I’m a little bit obsessed with baths. I also think having a bath in the house is the easiest way to keep the little ones clean. Although I find showers quick and convenient, I couldn’t live in a house that only has a shower – for me, that’s a dealbreaker. My husband is the opposite and would quite happily live in a shower-only house, but ultimately, having young children swayed our decisions to discount all houses that didn’t have a bath.
Double check the description online so you don’t waste your time viewing a house that won’t be suitable. Read the measurements of room sizes, make sure the kitchen will fit in your washing machine and a big fridge (I once lived in a house that had no room for a fridge freezer, I could only just fit an under-counter fridge in the utility room and had to live without a freezer for years!).
Other bits to consider
These are quick questions that you should also ask yourself before you take the plunge:
- Can I afford the council tax in this neighbourhood?
- Am I chose enough to my child’s school/ the school I’d like them to go to?
- Is it near a bus route? (One to consider if you own an unreliable car like me!)
- Can I have pets in this house?
- Has the house got mould/ will the landlord rectify before I move in?
- Will the garden be high maintenance and can I keep up?
- Is there space to park my car?
Once you’ve double-checked this list, you’re ready to get your deposit down on your new family rental property. Good luck!
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