Families have overtaken young couples to become the most common household type within the UK’s private rented sector.
New figures from the National Landlords Association show 48 per cent of landlords now let to families; the first time families have been the most frequent tenants in the rental market.
It is also a stark contrast to just four years ago, when the largest group was young single people, who 53 per cent of landlords were letting a home to at that time.
Emma Wells, lettings director at property specialist Leaders, says: “Renting a home is a practical, flexible and beneficial option for thousands of families across the country. It offers a simple route for parents looking to live within a school’s catchment area or close to a support network of family and friends.
“Landlords should aim to appeal to this growing market by offering the type of homes families are demanding. Our evidence shows families are typically reliable, stable and long-term tenants - qualities that should make them highly desirable to landlords.
Emma highlights three factors every landlord should consider before investing in a property with the intention of letting it to a family.
1) Location, location, location
Location is key for families. Most will want to be within the catchment area of a great school and close to local amenities such as parks, playgrounds, leisure centres and shops. Choosing a family-friendly area is a must for ensuring a family home is continuously occupied and achieves a good rent.
2) A family home
Landlords should think about the type of home a family will be looking for. Two, three and four-bedroom houses with plenty of space, including a garden, are most popular. Families require a practical home so consider features such as parking and storage space.
Families want to feel at home - and when they do, they tend to stay longer and look after the property well. Landlords are advised to be as flexible as possible when it comes to issues such as decorating and keeping pets. Having an addendum drawn up alongside the tenancy agreement is the simplest way to state what they will allow and ensures the boundaries are clear.
Emma adds: “The key to getting the most from this growing market is finding a property with excellent investment potential in the right area - such as one of our top five places to bring up a family - and marketing it correctly to attract the highest possible rent,” says Emma.
For expert advice on letting to families or buy-to-let in your area contact your local Leaders branch.