by Michael Monteiro
Another category that requires specific consideration is tenants with children.
First of all, be aware that in most states refusing to rent to families with children (based solely on the fact that they have children) is considered discrimination and is, therefore, illegal. It is also commonly illegal to reserve only certain units for families.
So the question is not so much whether or not you decide to rent to families with children, but special considerations you should bear in mind when this situation arises.
When it comes to renting to families with kids, there are two main considerations to keep in mind to ensure the comfort of other tenants and the upkeep of your units: 1) noise and 2) unit maintenance/protection. Following are a few tips for ensuring you have both of these areas covered.
Kids will be kids. And sometimes being a kid involves a bit of noise. The bottom line, though, is that many tenants (particularly those who live directly under the pitter-pattering of little feet) may be annoyed by the extra noise that often comes with children. Luckily, there are some measures you can take to help minimize noise levels and keep all of your tenants happy and comfortable.
Make sure that floors are carpeted (more on keeping carpets clean below). According to HGTV.com, The best covering for the floor is wood with an area rug over it. In this manner the wood floor gently absorbs the sound, while the rug swallows excess noise.
Although it is somewhat intensive, if you rent to families frequently, you may want to consider using Green Glue, which creates a gap between your existing drywall ceiling and a new layer of drywall. According to a Today feature, this can reduce noise by up to 20 percent by blocking sound vibrations. For more information, visit SoundIsolationCompany.com.
Finally, remember that soundproofing walls and ceilings without securing windows is a moot effort. Obviously, your tenants windows will be open at certain times of the year, but make sure that they are sealed to prevent noise from leaking out when they are closed.
Protecting Units Flooring While carpeting will help prevent some of the noise associated with children and families, it can also be easily damaged by spills. When installing carpeting, make the extra effort to secure it with fabric-protectant spray, such as Scotchgard Protector for Carpet. Such products can be applied on either a DIY basis or be professionally applied by a carpet cleaner.
If you opt not to take the carpet route, you can add a bit more protection to hardwood floors by applying a stain. Hardwood stains protect from scratches, dust, and grime, are long-lasting, and can be applied to the hardwood surface with a paintbrush.
WallsIn addition to flooring, walls are another area often subjected to stains and spills at the hands of little ones. Protect paint jobs with a product like AGS Wall Guard. This clear coating can be applied as a top coat to paint and will resist scuff marks and stains, and is easily cleaned, thus ensuring your paint will stand up to the test of little hands.
While all of this may sound like a lot of work to ensure that your units are kid-friendly, bear in mind that tenants of all shapes and sizes can make noise and messes. Consider these measures not only way to prepare for families with children, but also a means of ensuring that all of your tenants live in a comfortable, peaceful environment that is as damage-proof as possible.
See Michael Monteiro’s feature, Watch Television While Learning Real Estate and Property Management.American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your real estate investment including REAL ESTATE FORMS, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at joinaaoa.
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