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?

MolotovCocktail Fri 08-Mar-13 08:32:40

evans a tenant register is a great idea. Just in our experience, we've been good tenants for 14 years: first as house sharers, then 5 years with two properties with myself and DH on the lease. I think that we only had £30 withheld from our previous property would tell a prospective LL a lot smile

LessMissAbs Fri 08-Mar-13 09:30:18

*Flatbread I am talking about the US.

I am quite surprised how inadequate the tenancy laws are in the UK*

The UK has some of the strictest laws on renting property in the EU. Most of them concentrate on standards of accommodation provided. e.g. I have to provide accommodation with mains smoke alarms in every room, including cupboards, I have to install a sprinkler system should my flat be on two floors, I need fireproof doors to every room with intumescent seals, a fire blanket and fire extinguisher, changed every 3 years, in the kitchen, my cooker needs to be chained to the wall lest it should topple over and injure a tenant, my lease needs to be one approved by my local authority, and I need planning permission and the agreement of my neighbours to even let the flat to unrelated groups in the first place. There is much more - I need to use certain kinds of locks so that my tenants cannot lock themselves in and be unable to find their key in the event of fire, etc, etc..

The US, OTOH, is hardly a shining example of high standards in property. And the notion of a company providing a better standard of accommodation than an individual is naieve at best.

Compared to Germany, certainly, or The Netherlands, due to all this regulation, the standard of rental accommodation in the UK is very high. In Germany, the onus is more on the tenant to do things for themselves (some even bring their own kitchen units and fittings with them!), rental accommodation is very hard to come by and tenants try not to rock the boat with landlords, and the main rule I'm aware of is that central heating systems and windows in rental properties should be replaced every 20 years, though it varies from state to state.

expatinscotland Fri 08-Mar-13 09:56:19

'Compared to Germany, certainly, or The Netherlands, due to all this regulation, the standard of rental accommodation in the UK is very high.'

Haahaahaa! That's why there's thread after thread after thread on here about shite rental properties full of mould and damp and LLs who won't fix the boiler or do other basic repairs.

Private renting is a joke here, and that joke is on the tenant.

Booyhoo Fri 08-Mar-13 11:51:11

Lessmisabs j have rented 3 propwrties in 7 years and none of the things you listed were present in either of the three houses including one new build. The house i am in now is undoubtedly the worst. I have been here 9 months and not 1 urgent repair ( massive hole in the back door due to rot- bathroom floor rotting so much that it has lifted off the conceete) has been carried out despite me constantly ringing the agent. I have researched and i basically can put up with it or continue to nag and risk not getting my tenancy renewed in 2 ish months. And there is nothing to force my LL to carry out these repairs before re- letting the property to someone else. I am have no power whatsover to get my LL to live up to his end of the deal.

MooMooSkit Fri 08-Mar-13 12:08:01

This has really shocked me the way families leave houses :S I would never ever dream of doing that! In my last flat I had to pay a 950 deposit and lived there on my own with my son till he was 15 months old from when he was 2 months old. They only took 50 off my deposit to give the flat a good clean. Even before I left i gave all the rooms a new coat of magnolia to freshen it up and washed the curtains supplied, filled any holes from photos and painted over them. I think that's awful people think that's fine to do that!

Even in this house I have a very good relationship with the landlord, he has never visited once since april 2011 as he trusts us so much (we speak on the phone reguarly) my partner is a bit of a handyman so if anything arises in the house my landlord even sends a cheque for the goods for my oh to do it! Also yes kids do things but i wouldn't even dream of not repairng it :S I remember my little one drew ALL over his walls in his bedroom with a crayon he'd nabbed and i'd painted over it within the week. He also threw one of his toys and shattered one of the porch windows, again, was 8 pounds to replace and done within the week. I really appreciate the fact someone is willing to let me live in their house so think the most you can do is respect and look after their property.

Oh and our house also said no pets but once the landlord got to know us he said he wouldn't mind hs having a small dog. I do think there should be a list for tenants as i'm really shocked families leave rented properties in such a state. Think thats disgusting!

msrisotto Fri 08-Mar-13 16:31:07

MooMooSkit - If ONLY all tenants were like you!

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Fri 08-Mar-13 17:03:41

Rental accommodation hard to come by in Germany? hmm

I have been a tenant in Germany, in various different places, for nearly 13 years and we have never had trouble getting decent places.
People bring their own kitchen fittings etc because renting is the norm - I think it's two-thirds of households who rent overall, higher in some places such as Berlin - and people who expect to stay long-term tend to want to fit the place out themselves. Plus, kitchens etc are often provided - we are about to move to a place with a fitted kitchen, including a new cooker and a Miele dishwasher.

The main thing about being a tenant in Germany is that you are properly protected. The landlord has to have a very good reason to evict you - I'm talking repeated non-payment of rent, being a complete and utter nuisance to your neighbours, wanting to move into the property themselves AND having a reasonable reason to do so - and the minimum notice period is three months, whereas no tenant ever has to give notice of more than three months and can terminate the rental agreement without giving a reason. If something in the property is in disrepair and the landlord won't act, you have a legal right to reduce your rent - by up to 100% (say if your heating breaks down in the middle of winter). There's a huge body of case law you can consult in these sorts of cases.

As for the subject of the thread, no German landlord would dare to turn away tenants with children because they had children.

'Private renting is a joke here, and that joke is on the tenant.' Expat is spot on.

ILikeBirds Fri 08-Mar-13 17:20:18

LessMissAbs All those regulations you list are all related to HMOs. In England, most of that is not required to rent out normal family homes.

LessMissAbs Sat 09-Mar-13 15:46:40

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy glad to hear you didn't struggle. DH and I were looking in or around Munich, and its not easy there. Like any big popular city I would guess.

I agree that lets tend to be much longer term in Germany. Tenants are also expected to be better behaved. Here in the UK, it is still damned hard and takes a long time to get rid of tenants who are a nuisance to their neigbhours, don't pay rent, etc..

In practice, certainly in Munich, there were plenty of things wrong with the flats my friends rented but they didn't rock the boat with their landlords because they wanted to stay put/wanted a good reference if they moved on. For instance, I got a nasty burn off a radiator in my friend's flat in Schwabing - it was so hot on the surface that it burnt you if you touched it while it was on. The controls to turn it down had been broken for years. This was considered normal - my friend was a lawyer!

I always think it ironic that the HMO Regulations apply only to HMOs, and not to council houses, where families with children might be living, and so many fatal fires seem to occur.

Even for non-HMOs, in this country (as opposed to the US, where the poster I was replying to was from), the landlord must be registered with the local authority and prove they are a fit and proper person.

ILikeBirds Sat 09-Mar-13 15:56:18

" the landlord must be registered with the local authority and prove they are a fit and proper person."

Are you talking about Scotland?

This isn't the case across England.

Newham is the first council to introduce it I think and that's only just happened
[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20876934 Registration scheme to target rogue landlords begins]]

ILikeBirds Sat 09-Mar-13 15:56:47
magnoliamom Sat 09-Mar-13 16:28:38

Just to add my recent experience, we rent here in the UK because we still own our house back in the US which we want to return to someday. Have v good income, great references from current LL, one child and I am a sahm. Have put in offers on 4 rentals in the last 2 weeks. Was turned down 2x as agent said LLs preferred 2 'professionals' instead of one and 'someone who just stays at home all day', in both cases LL accepted an offer submitted same day as ours for the same amount/terms but from sharers. The attitude of nearly every estate agent I met during this process was patronising and snobby, looking down on my family for renting - even though we are more than able to buy any house we have looked at, we just prefer not to tie up that much cash right now. It was an extremely unpleasant process, v glad to have finally found something.

expatinscotland Sat 09-Mar-13 17:56:28

Hope it lasts, magnolia.

magnoliamom Sat 09-Mar-13 23:47:11

Thanks, I hope so too.

Mutley77 Sun 10-Mar-13 00:02:52

It is a tricky one - I know that the deposit scheme now really protects tenants - my friend and her family did leave a rented house in a bit of a state due to their dogs and children (both were allowed in the property). When they were asked to pay some of the deposit they challenged it and were let off most of it by the independent body who manages deposits, and the landlord therefore had to make good the house out of their own pocket.

As a landlord myself now (because we are temporarily overseas, not through investment choice) I am worried about our lovely house being trashed by the young children living there - not all parents have as high standards as me ;) - or you...

At the end of the day it is a landlord's perrogative who they rent to and if they think they can get the money without the damage its up to them. But I can understand you're annoyed. You could try offering a slightly higher rent to "compensate for any potential damage" (not that I think you would necessarily cause any...).

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