How to Make Your Rental Home More Kid-Friendly
Kids change a lot of things regarding the daily life of the parents, including how you treat housing and the related issues of safety and kid-friendly amenities. When renting, it can be even more difficult to find a suitable apartment for you and your little one. However, under the Fair Housing Act, families with children cannot be discriminated against, so rest assured that you are protected by law.
Once you’ve found the right apartment, you’ll want to make it kid-friendly. So, what are the aspects you should focus on and how do you tackle these issues? Here are some of the safety tips and amenities you should discuss with your landlord.
When it comes to safety, there are no shortcuts. Discuss baby-proofing the apartment with your landlord; if they offer to do it for you, provide a checklist and make sure everything is properly installed.
Baby Gates & Other Fences
If you have stairs in your rental, install baby gates as soon as possible; as babies start to crawl, they wander around and the risk of falling is real. If you have a pool or a yard on the property, talk to the landlord about installing fences for safety; they help keep children inside the safe space while also preventing animals or strangers from reaching the premises.
Children are curious by nature, and as soon as they can move on their own, they will explore every corner of your rental. That’s why it is important to cover electrical outlets, especially those that are close to the ground. Get down on the floor to be at a child’s level, and place outlet covers on all of the electrical outlets in your rental home.
Remove Cords & Other Dangers
The cords that hang from blinds or curtains are dangerous because toddlers can get stuck in them. These cords can wrap around parts of their bodies and pose a real danger, so it’s best to remove them from your home.
Similarly, to prevent accidents, apply cabinet locks and secure furniture that can easily be turned over. Kids will try to open cabinets and play with whatever they find inside, so it’s best to protect them and keep more dangerous items—such as knives and medicine—in the highest cabinets. Also, as soon as they learn to stand, they’ll pull themselves onto their feet by using anything they can find, including furniture. That’s why it is important to use anchors to secure tables, wardrobes, and other pieces of furniture.
After you’ve made sure the rental is secure for your child, design it to be an efficient and friendly space for the little one.
Design a Playroom
It’s important to have a space that is dedicated to the child. Even if you don’t have a lot of room, pick a corner with plenty of natural light and consider it the playroom. Use cube storage shelves along the wall—keeping the height at child level—so you can both store items and play on the surface of the shelves.
Next, add an easy-to-clean rug in the middle of the space where your child will spend most of their time playing. Also, make sure to keep some blankets and pillows around to make the space feel cozier. Then, add decorations and plants—as well as a mirror to enlarge the space—and you’ll have the perfect playroom.
In-Unit Washer & Dryer
With children, everything gets messy. As such, it’s important to have access to a washer and dryer in your home. Keep this in mind when apartment-hunting. But, if you can’t find an apartment with this in-unit amenity, talk to your landlord about finding a solution.
Outdoor Play Area
If the property has a yard, see how you can use it as a playground. Maybe you can find a tree that would be great for climbing or a tire swing. Either way, if the yard is covered with grass and properly maintained, it’s going to be a perfect spot for your kids to practice walking as grass is softer and gentler than concrete or wooden floors.
When it comes to your kids, there shouldn’t be any room for compromise. Make sure your rental home is safe and practical. If it’s not, ask your landlord for assistance and work together to achieve a kid-friendly home.
About the author: Mihaela Buzec is a passionate reader and writer with an affinity for language and linguistics, as well as the latest technological developments. She discovered her passion for real estate at RENTCafé, and you can read more of her articles on their blog.