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Search for Family-Friendly Rental Properties

Due to the recession and the subsequent slow recovery in the housing market, more and more families have found themselves looking for rental properties, including apartments. Unlike people without children, families have a lot more to consider in the rental process—including the surrounding neighborhood, the school district, and access to thing like parks.

While the economy has forced many families into renting, it can be tricky to find that perfect property that’s going to be family-friendly and within budget.

For families looking to rent properties, there are an abundance of options, including many single-family homes that became available because of foreclosures.

Unfortunately, on the flip side of that, the pool of renters has increased significantly, which can make it difficult to find that perfect property for yourself and your children.

Also, due to the economy, more families are having to squeeze into smaller spaces than they were used to pre-recession, in order to cut costs on monthly rent.

The main considerations to keep in mind when renting an apartment or property with children are:

 

  1. Is the property safe? Often, a single family home is going to be more expensive than renting an apartment, but they’re typically safer for children. Apartments that are on higher levels may have balconies or windows that children could fall out of, and ground-floor apartments mean children could potentially climb out of their windows. Often, apartments also have on-site pools, which can be an amenity, but also a safety risk for children. Before choosing an apartment, it’s important to consider the safeguards available on the property to protect children from certain risks.
  2. What are the neighbors like? This is an important consideration whether you’re renting a single family home, a condo or an apartment. For families, it’s probably not ideal to live in an area that is populated by younger people or college students, because this isn’t a family-friendly environment. Instead, families should choose rental properties in neighborhoods or complexes that have other children and families living nearby. It’s also best to choose a property where there are other families so they understand the challenges of having children, and aren’t bothered by the potential for noises coming from your own property.
  3. Does the property have child-friendly facilities on-site or nearby? It’s always good for children to have access to things like playgrounds, parks or libraries, so parents may want to consider these factors when selecting a rental property. Parents may want to talk to neighbors who have children, to gain better insight into just how appropriate the area is for children.
  4. If you’re renting a property with children, it’s important to understand your rights. The Fair Housing Act bans discrimination based on the status of a family. This means that if you plan to have your children share a bedroom, and a landlord tells you there are restrictions on occupancy for your children, it’s likely against the law. There are city and state occupancy requirements in most cases, but as long as your children sharing a room doesn’t violate these requirements, the landlord doesn’t have the right to determine your children’s sleeping arrangements. A landlord does have the ability to make certain stipulations if they are reasonable and aimed at providing a safe environment, but be aware of your rights as a renter, and if you think an unreasonable or unlawful demand is being made, it’s important that you report the landlord.

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  5. If you’re considering moving into an older home or apartment, it may be best to do a lead test a few weeks before you move in. Many health departments will complete these tests for free, and in some states, these are required by law.


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