Hey for the first time I am renting a home out to a family with 4 kids. Their ages range from 8 months-16 years old. What are some things I should be extra careful about? I am mostly concerned with safety issues. Are there certain things in the home I should have inspected? I do not have kids of my own so I really don't know what kind of odd safety hazards kids can get themselves in. Thanks!
The only thing you need to know is whether or not there is lead paint in the house. The rest is simple. Make sure the railings are solid, screens in windows, blah blah...Depending on the age, you want to know about lead paint.
The health department will check for lead paint for you for free or you can get a lead paint test kit from Home Depot or Lowes or Sherwin Williams paint store. Also, if you have hot air duct work floor mounted or close to the floor wall mounted, check for the duct covers securely installed. We had a baby fall into one or maybe was pushed into it by a sibling, can't say for sure. Also ask the tenant to install outlet protectors so the little people don't play with them. As long as they are responsible parents there shouldn't be to many problems.
You want to add to your regular inspections some attention to looking at the walls to mention that they are not for writing or painting on (obviously if you see this happening). Decorations the kids like on their walls will need to be removed on leaving.
If you have low windows in some locations you may be obliged to put child safety bars on them.
If you have a no smoking policy. I would make sure to mention it in the vicinity of the teenagers. Parents don't always know when their kids start smoking.
If you have a pool fence it separate from the house. (you are allowed in many places to have doors leading out to a fenced pool area and with young kids that is not the best).
Also when you send workmen to the house they should take appropriate precautions for the age of the kids. I will never forget my father kicking a contractor off the property for failing to close the gate after multiple warnings. There were many young kids in the house and the contractor was careless. He did not come back for a month for his stuff. This will usually come into play when you have big repairs not the small stuff.
In any case those are just a few things that may be relevant for your situation.
Make sure you have the appropriate smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. That applies to tenants of any age.
Housing discrimination, if you create extra hoops or hoopla you might be creating legal liability for yourself and that can get expensive!.
get an umbrella policy for extra insurance
Make sure they know it is ok to install the tip-prevention kits on the walls. These are essentially tethering kits that are installed behind large items of furniture to allow them to be "tied" to the wall.
These kind of accidents are horribly common. Google "toddler killed by dresser" and you will find dozens of stories.
Tenants sometimes worry about installing things like the tip-kits, if they have a landlord who has really emphasized things like not marring the walls. Because installing them will put a small whole in the drywall.
But personally, i would have a tough time living with myself and my nice smooth walls if a young child died in one of my homes. So when I have done the initial walk through with tenants and told them about things like hanging pictures, I make sure to emphasize that the anti-tip kits are fine, and actually encouraged.
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