To be miffed at prospective landlords not accepting children in a rented property

(215 Posts)
MolotovCocktail Wed 06-Mar-13 16:19:30

We are looking to rent a larger property. We want to remain in the same location, but just need a bigger house. There's me, my DH, and our 2 DDs, aged 4yo and 11mo.

This is the second time that, when I've called to arrange a viewing, I've been told 'the landlord doesn't accept children' when asked who the property would be for.

Why is this? Surely, if any of us caused damage to the property, that's what the deposit is for?

AIBU to feel miffed and want to question the reason why such landlords are holding onto 3-bed family properties within walking distance of school?

BlueberryHill Wed 06-Mar-13 16:41:31

It seems bizarre that family houses aren't rented to families, why have that type of house and not rent it out to families.

Having said that our children are much 'heavier' on the house than the cat, the wear and tear just seems so much more than when we had no kids, marks on the wall (not even pens just scuffs) and the woodwork from ride ons. Mind you it is my house and I will just repaint in a couple of years.

KellyElly Wed 06-Mar-13 16:42:49

That seems crazy as you'll end up with sharers instead who would potentially cause as much damage if not more than children. I'm much more mindful in rented property now I have a child than I was when I was house sharing in my early 20's and throwing mad parties

SnowyWellies Wed 06-Mar-13 16:42:59

Lord- granted though I have not had the horror stories some have just written! Worst for me was a tenant who swore blind he did not smoke, so not smoking was taken out of the agreement (stupid mistake number 1) and then did.. So that was a grand cleaning curtains and shampooing carpets and repainting that we could not get back as it was not in the agreement. But that (so far touch wood!) is the only thing. But, if you have a 3 bed property- it is fair to expect you will have families.

msrisotto Wed 06-Mar-13 16:43:20

Well yeah akaemmafrost. They expressed surprise when the plumber told them that was the likely cause hmm.

SnowyWellies Wed 06-Mar-13 16:44:08

Sure Molotov!

(makes a note to kick out current tenant.. smile )

MolotovCocktail Wed 06-Mar-13 16:44:16

It's interesting to read reasons why LLs might have this policy. It's a shame that people who would make the house their home are put out of the running, but yes, with a higher demand for rentals I guess LLs can affor to be picky.

MolotovCocktail Wed 06-Mar-13 16:46:26

<faints at the idea of 6 months rent in advance>

teatrolley Wed 06-Mar-13 16:46:36

Like most things it's about risk. Offering a larger deposit may help to swing things in your favour.

SnowyWellies Wed 06-Mar-13 16:47:09

I do not understand it though. I mean- if you are a LL it is in your interest to allow the tenant to be happy and comfortable in their/your home.

besides- my lovely tenant basically pays my mortgage and as I have no pension, I love them. smile

valiumredhead Wed 06-Mar-13 16:48:02

My mum recently tried to rent a flat, she has 2 well behaved cats and even though she offered DOUBLE the deposit and extra rent she was still turned down!

valium, I think with animals it could be an allergy issue, perhaps?

NomDeOrdinateur Wed 06-Mar-13 16:50:10

It is strange - after all, who would they expect to let a 3 bedroom house in a good school's catchment area to, other than a family? However, TBH, I find blanket "no pet" policies stranger. I have a parrot (who is litter trained and spends all of her time either in her cage or on her play-stand, is mostly silent and never loud, and will never grow to be as big as a pigeon) and a budgie (who is again either in his cage, on his play-tree, or completing his daily 5 circuits of the room). They present no threat to the house, no inconvenience to neighbours, and I would be happy to pay a higher deposit if it would set the landlord's mind at rest, but lots of lettings agents say that there is no flexibility in the rule.

I'd be grateful if any landlords here could give their views on the matter - if you would prefer not to let your properties to owners of small, quiet, caged, non-breeding, non-dangerous pets, why is this? Are there any suggestions a prospective tenant could make that would cause you to reconsider?

I can understand landlords taking issue with pet rodents as they can escape and chew things, or reptiles because their food (crickets) can escape and breed, or dogs/cats etc due to hair shedding and destruction - but even then, surely a higher deposit and possibly a guarantor should be sufficient in all but the most extreme cases?

LessMissAbs Wed 06-Mar-13 16:50:27

I did once do a 3 week holiday let to a family with children, and had to repaint so many walls, as there were drawings and fingerprints on them. I was really astonished that anyone would let their children do that to someone else's house. They did more damage in a month than the students I usually rent to have ever done. And I wouldn't say they were particularly good.

It can actually be cheaper to keep your property empty for a few months waiting for the right tenant, than pay for repairs caused by the wrong tenant.

NomDeOrdinateur Wed 06-Mar-13 16:52:16

Oh, and I'd cheerfully pay to shampoo carpets, clean curtains etc before moving out if allergies were a concern.

msrisotto Wed 06-Mar-13 16:52:34

Nomdeordinateur (Great name smile) I wouldn't have a problem with your bird or a fish or hamster etc. Cats and dogs yes because they nom the carpet and other damage.

firawla Wed 06-Mar-13 16:53:16

we had this problem too. in areas where they know they can rent to students or other sharers it seems LL prefer that. agents told me that sometimes they can get more as they charge per person rent and it adds up to more?? but i found this problem getting worse over time, few yrs back it was only a few people saying but last year we were renting and trying to get somewhere new we could literally not get anywhere in our area without them asking 6 months rent in advance so ending up moving further and still got a total cow of a landlady altho she was happy to accept children in the property she was a nightmare! so now we've moved even more far out. there seems to be not enough propertys to go round in certain areas these day so landlords just take the pee

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Wed 06-Mar-13 16:54:10

I think in reality it comes down to whether someone has children or is bunch of mates who have loads of parties. It down to if those people respect the property they live in. We have 2 DCs who, admittedly have drawn on the walls blush (DS is not allowed any crayons at all anymore!) and all the damage will rectified before we move out. nothing as been done that cant be fixed IYSWIM. My SIL has recently rented and no doubt had people over to her's but I know she wouldnt trash the flat she was in.

However, I also know people with kids who have their children destroy the house they rented. Burn marks on carpets and curtains (LL's) from hair straighteners from older kids, permanant marker on carpets, walls and windows as well as food and god knows what else smeared everywhere..... But that isnt because they had kids, but because they were that way inclined. Same with people who dont have any kids but the place they rent is fucked by the time they move out. imo anyway.

msrisotto Wed 06-Mar-13 16:54:30

6 months! Wow i've not heard of that before.

In the flat we rent out we can't allow pets because that is in the lease. It is a pain in the arse as I don't have a problem with well behaved pets.

We don't allow children because unfortunately when we have previously the damage caused was extensive. We have had to replace carpets because of stains that we couldn't get out, crayoning all over walls, make up smeared into walls, nail varnish spilled in kids bedroom.

I accept that most of this was down to poor parental supervision and some of the damage could have been caused by the parents and they are blaming the kids but it has put us off. We do, however, tell the agents to call us and discuss if they think the people would be ok / are long term.

NomDeOrdinateur Wed 06-Mar-13 17:00:09

MsRisotto - I'm glad to hear that some landlords are reasonable, I wish there were more landlords like you where we live! (And thanks! smile )

MolotovCocktail Wed 06-Mar-13 17:01:46

We've rented whilst having children for 4 years (longer as students). We have a proavable track record, but it feels like we can't even get that far. It's just 'no'.

SnowyWellies Wed 06-Mar-13 17:03:33

Oh, I never thought about no pets being a leashold condition. We do not have that, thankfully. I have no issues with pets at all (although this has never arisen except for fish) and would just make it clear to new tenants there had been pets in case allergies are an issue. I know someone who had a holiday let and she specified no pets, and people snuck a dog in. That caused huge problems because of insurance (? i think) that specified a no pet clause, precisely because of allergies. (I am hazy on the details though) It caused alot of trouble - for what amounted to a long weekend tenancy.

NomDeOrdinateur Wed 06-Mar-13 17:10:59

Glenthebattleostrich - sorry, I didn't see your reply, didn't meant to imply through omission that you were being unreasonable! What a shame about your lease - I find it amazing that the housing market is such in this country that developers/PM companies can place such restrictions on buyers, despite charging so much. If that's the case for most flats then I'll be saving for my own place for a very long time, as I really couldn't be happy without my birds - especially since the parrot has about 40 years left to live, and we could never give her away sad.

I find it amazing that so many people struggle to find suitable rentals that will accept them - I didn't know before reading this thread that children could be a problem in this respect (although I do sympathise with the landlords' concern about property damage). I suppose it will only get worse as the rental market grows...

I'd no more allow either daughter to damage the house than I would myself

It's not a case of allowing them to do it. Sometimes they just do it.

CashmereHoodlum Wed 06-Mar-13 17:14:06

I know a woman who has holiday letting cottages and accepts pets but not children. She used to accept children but not pets but then found that families with children made the lets uneconomical. She would have to do loads of repairs and replacements within a very short time frame between lets. She says she has never had a problem like this with pets.

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