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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?

NomDeOrdinateur Wed 06-Mar-13 17:15:29

SnowyWellies - your poor friend! I think it's more understandable with holiday lets, since there's so little time between tenants to rectify any problems. I'm really surprised to see that some landlords are fine with pets - I wouldn't have guessed, based on my own experience (although that may be due to the lettings agents as much as the landlords)! Strangely enough, the only person who has waived a no pets clause for us was the owner of a holiday cottage, who kindly allows our budgie to go on holiday with us every year while the parrot stays with my parents - as a result, we now assume we'll be holidaying in the very same cottage every year because we appreciate the owner's kindness and understanding smile.

50BalesOfHay Wed 06-Mar-13 17:16:28

We prefer house sharers to families as we get more rent that way

MolotovCocktail Wed 06-Mar-13 17:24:44

Of course stuff just happens NotaDragon but 1) we would repair any damage caused as if it were our own property and 2) if the LL wasn't happy, they could recall the money from the deposit.

ukatlast Wed 06-Mar-13 17:24:44

YANBU. It is really weird because what happens if the sitting tenant gets pregnant and has a baby? You are infringing the rights of childless tenants to have kids/start a family.
They would have to factor a move into their circumstances (expensive) in the event of deciding to throw away the pill packet.
I can understand 'no pets' but not 'no kids'.

MolotovCocktail Wed 06-Mar-13 17:26:10

Funnily enough uka that thought had occured to me in the last 1/2 hour.

pingu2209 Wed 06-Mar-13 17:27:18

I rented a 3 bed bungalow about 4 years ago when my children were 1, 3 and 5. My 3 year old was sitting on his own in the lounge and I heard a ripping sound, he had stared to rip the lining of the curtains. These were floor to pole curtains for patio doors. I was horrified, he wasn't naughty, but kids do strange things.

Then my 5 year old got a hold of a pen and drew a line about 2 foot long across the carpet in his room. We never allow them to do any arts and crafts or drawing etc anywhere but the dining room.

I am really careful with my children and my possessions etc, but even with all my care, things got damaged specifically because of the children.

Our deposit was £1800 but we lost all of it - the patio curtains alone were hundreds.

I do fully understand why landlords don't want children.

DukeSilver Wed 06-Mar-13 17:27:22

What if you moved in then became pregnant? Would you be thrown out?

I have been renting with my dd since she was born and have luckily never come across the no children rule. The no HB one has bit me on the arse a few times though.

expatinscotland Wed 06-Mar-13 17:38:54

We found this a lot. This will become an even greater problem as more and more people become unable to buy a home or get repossessed.

RustyBear Wed 06-Mar-13 17:39:28

NomDeOrdinateur - I know someone whose parrot literally ate their wall - chewed the plaster off over an area about 2 feet square near his perch and was making a start on the breeze block underneath. Not sure I'd want a parrot in my house after seeing that - you may know your parrot wouldn't do any damage, but how is a landlord to know?

BeeBopDingALing Wed 06-Mar-13 17:41:42

We rent out our house. I can understand the no pets/no children rule tbh although it's not something we do. We take it on an individual basis.

Our first renters were a young couple and they had an exotic pet, they had references from work and also one from their current landlord saying they were great (only reason they had to move was she was selling up). They were great and we were very relaxed with them. They had people stay with them for periods of time and they let us know and we were fine with it. They left the property in perfect condition.

Our second renter was/is MIL, she has installed baby gates for her grandchild (not our DCs) that will need replastering when she moves out. Has cut a hole in the back door for a cat flap which will need replacing when she moves out. However she did ask us before doing these things and we said ok but as long as she covers the cost of repairing the damage by the babygates and replaces the back door. This is ok because she is MIL and we know she will do this, but theres no way I would trust a renter to stick to this.

I think a lot of properties are rented by property management companies and the rules are set by them to make it easy on themselves.

I suggest looking on gumtree and finding a rental house directly through the landlord rather than a management company. Make sure you have good work references and previous/current landlord references, that will go a long way. You could also ask to have it written in the contract that you will replace/repair any damage caused by your DCs/babygates etc (if needed). I would also offer more of a deposit so that if damage is caused then it will cover it, ime deposits often don't.

Hope you find somewhere soon.

FredFredGeorge Wed 06-Mar-13 17:44:38

While the deposit may be for damage, "fair wear and tear" does take account of the people who are resident - so a family with pets would be expected to cause more wear and tear than a single professional who's only using it at weekends.

expatinscotland Wed 06-Mar-13 17:46:11

To be fair, Quint, you were warned by many not to take on that tenant, who was a nightmare even before she moved in.

Policies like this and private letting in general is why we will not move out of our HA home, even though we are under-occupying by a bedroom. We do not claim HB so are exempted from the new rules.

Until the rental laws are revised in the UK, which will never happen, then people will do what they can to hang onto a social housing home.

slatternlymother Wed 06-Mar-13 17:46:35

YANBU; but it's the landlord's loss.

FWIW we got turned down years ago, because I was pregnant and the landlord didnt want 'a kid wrecking the house' hmm I was really upset actually!

Well, the joke was on him, because 6 months down the line it was still on the market. He eventually shifted it for a full £250pcm less than we were prepared to pay! So 6 months of him paying council tax and a mortgage on the place. His loss grin

Plus, the rental agent doesn't even inspect our house anymore because they say they don't need to because it's the best kept in their whole portfolio, even though we have toddler DC. So we were good tenants!

<sticks tongue out at snooty landlord>

expatinscotland Wed 06-Mar-13 17:48:01

The rental market is getting very tight as fewer are able to buy their own home.

NomDeOrdinateur Wed 06-Mar-13 17:48:05

Rusty - my parrot is (and always will be) smaller than a pigeon, and her beak can't even break skin, so she's not physically capable of causing the kind of damage that a big parrot with a big beak can cause. She might manage it if given several years of unsupervised time to do so (although she's much too lazy even in those circumstances), but that would be picked up in an inspection before any expensive damage was done. In any case, she's not allowed out when I'm not in the room.

I can provide evidence to that effect as well as evidence that I can pay for any damage she does manage to cause (and a guarantor to provide further reassurance), and would be happy to commit to it in the contract.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 06-Mar-13 17:48:33

It's not as easy to take money from a deposit as you seem to believe, there are a lot of restrictions on what can be claimed back. And even then, what if the tennant doesn't pay the last months rent, which seems to happen a lot, or the damage they cause isn't covered by the rent?

Children are undoubtably going to cause more wear and tear. Wear and tear can't be taken out of the deposit, because its an expected consequence of a home being lived in. But landlords still have to pay for it' so its understandable that they would want to keep their costs as low as possible. Refusing to let to children helps to do that.

slipshodsibyl Wed 06-Mar-13 17:53:47

As novice landlords, letting our house while we worked overseas, I told our agent I would prefer a family to four single tenants. He laughed at me before detailing the difference in likely profit and wear and tear.

True expat, and we possibly would not have taken her on if it was not for the fact that the property had then been empty for nearly 5 months, and our monthly mortgage costs were too heavy on top of all the moving costs. She was the only tenant that had shown any interest in the property.

expatinscotland Wed 06-Mar-13 18:00:26

So where are families who cannot afford to buy their own home supposed to go?

SolomanDaisy Wed 06-Mar-13 18:18:13

I'd ask the letting agent if they could ask the landlord if they'd consider you. The letting agents basically just have a tick list of will you accept children/pets/HB, but that doesn't mean the individual landlord is definite that they would refuse otherwise good tenants. We had 'no pets' ticked, but when someone asked the letting agent about their specific circumstances we said we'd accept the pet.

NomDeOrdinateur Wed 06-Mar-13 18:25:43

Thanks Soloman, will do! smile

CloudsAndTrees Wed 06-Mar-13 18:31:51

Despite my saying that children do cause more wear and tear, if I had a family sized home to rent out, I would rent to a family with children. I'd hope that any extra wear and tear they caused would be offset against the fact that they would be more likely to stay longer in the property, therefore saving the cost and hassle of finding new tenants. If I had concerns, I'd ask them to repair before they left. A friend of mine that rents with dc always offers to repaint at the end of a tenancy.

Grindmygears Wed 06-Mar-13 18:33:35

Isn't it discrimination not accepting children? They wouldn't get away with not accepting pensioners would they? The feckers!

Snog Wed 06-Mar-13 18:38:44

I have every sympathy for the OP
However a landlord will generally try to reduce the risk of damage to their property - which can potentially far, far exceed the deposit.
If there is a shortage of rental properties then I guess it will be particularly hard to find a rental if you have kids and/or pets unless you pay a premium rate for the privilege.

I think we need more good quality HA family homes to be available. This should drive down rental costs and also reduce house values. Not to mention giving families more stability in rentals.

whois Wed 06-Mar-13 18:42:43

Grindmygears you can let your house to whoever you wish, if you have several offers on the table you can take the best one.

Children are a nightmare, even well behaved one with good parents! They touch things, swing on thing, pull things, generally muck about being interested in stuff!

I might let to a family or someone with pets but it would depend what other offers I had, and age of the kids/type of pets. I would defo put v regular inspections into the contract.

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