As a landlord, you have a responsibility to ensure that you provide a safe and sound property for your tenants to live in. If your buy-to-let property is the ideal home for a family to live in, there are a few things you may want to consider when it comes to baby-proofing.
We’re not talking about covering over sharp edges and moving breakable objects out of the way of little heads and hands – that’s down to your tenant to handle. We’re talking about the more substantial changes that you can make to your buy-to-let to ensure that it’s the perfect place for a family to live.
Is the front and back garden (if applicable) of your buy-to-let secure? Curious little ones may fancy a wander out of the front door, but if you’ve got a solid fence and gate around the front of the property, there’s no chance of them going anywhere that they shouldn’t. The same goes for the back garden.
Parents don’t want to be worrying about their children when they are playing outside. Knowing that the perimeters are safe and secure will be a weight off their minds, meaning that they can get on with other things whilst the children entertain themselves.
Is your buy-to-let kitted out with blinds at the window? If so, it’s important to note that blind cords can be a real risk to babies and small children. They can injure or even strangle themselves on looped cords and chains – a real worry and risk to both parents and landlords.
All blinds should pass the safety standards, which take these risks into account – but you can make them all the more safe by adding in blind cord wraps so that cords can be tucked well away from prying hands.
Safe electrical sockets
As a landlord, one of your main responsibilities is to make sure that the electricals in your property are safe. You don’t need to be an electrician to do this, but you do need to ensure that you have the electrical installations in your property inspected and tested by a qualified and competent professional at least every five years.
Ensure that all the electrical sockets in your property are up to modern safety standards. You could add plastic socket protectors to all of your sockets to shield them from crawling babies putting their fingers into them, but they are actually quite easy for young children to simply remove.
Practical floors and walls
Ok, so perhaps this doesn’t technically class as baby-proofing, but it’s important to consider children when you are picking out the floors and paint in your buy-to-let. You might first think that carpets throughout the home make the most sense. Whilst they do act as a nice soft surface to cushion any tumbles and falls, they also lend themselves to lots of stains and mess. They also trap bad odours. Hard flooring wipes clean – and soft rugs can always be put down by your tenants to create a soft space for their children to toddle.
As for walls, you might consider using a washable paint in your buy-to-let. A satin finish paint will be able to withstand a little wear and tear, but dirty hand marks on walls, crayoning or food splatters are almost inevitable. Washable paint is a load off everyone’s minds.
Being mindful about the way you present your home when renting to families will save everyone a lot of worry and potential money too. Let’s face it, kids can cause damage! Let’s avoid marked walls and stained carpets if possible. Remember to compare landlord insurance to make sure you have the right cover in case accidents and damage does happen.