Considerations of Renting Property As New Parents 

Posted by Susan Brown on January 18, 2018 0 Comments

 

Everything is slightly harder after baby arrives, from sleeping, to eating, to baby proofing a home that might not be yours. The first year of a baby’s life moves fast, with baby going from staying still to becoming quite mobile. Additionally, as baby ages, he or she will eventually need personal sleeping space away from Mom and Dad. Renting a home and trying to cater to baby’s growing needs are often a challenge, unless the stages are considered one at a time.

0-3 Months

Renting at this age is the easiest in regards to the baby, but the toughest in regards to the lease. This is the time when the parents are the most tired, and things around the home are left undone. However, sleepy parents who ignore household maintenance may be breaking lease rules. For example, if the yard maintenance must be done by the tenants, the landlord might get upset when the lawn is left unmowed for three months. Everything, from paying rent on time to cleaning the kitchen counters might take a break when baby is brand new. Communicating with the landlord is the first line of defense against offending the lease. While many landlords purchase insurance against missed rent payments, missing payments will still affect your credit score. Avoid a situation by talking to the landlord. Inform him or her that a baby is coming, and discuss the possibility of flexible lease terms. There may be a paid service for lawn care, or a clause that covers hardship situations.

3-6 Months

Baby won’t be moving extensively yet, but scooting will begin during this baby stage of development. Some babies might even crawl at this point. Again, reviewing the lease to find out about wall hangings is important at this stage. Many baby items, such as baby gates, attach to walls. Many rentals, however, do not allow any holes larger than a nail hole in the walls. This means that a different baby gate will need to be used, such as a gate that depends on pressure against a wall to remain in place. Additionally, wall mounts to hold televisions will need to be kept out of the walls, and drawer locks that drill into the cabinets will not work out. Luckily, there are a variety of different baby safety options, such as television anchors that attach to the entertainment center instead of the wall. Look for safety options that do not cause damage to walls, ceilings, cabinets or floors.

6-9 Months

This is the age when little ones figure out how to become fully mobile. While they are not yet walking, they are crawling, possibly pulling themselves up, or even taking a few wobbly steps. Living in a rental during this time means making sure the corners are secure with removable corner covers. These soft covers will come off when the rental property is returned to the owner, but will help keep baby safe. Talk to the landlord about any cracks in the floors that could be fixed to help keep baby safe as he or she explores. Choose a high chair that does not attach to the counters to avoid causing damage, and keep a wet/dry mop handy to clean up after baby, who is now eating some solids and making dinner messes on the floor.

9-12 Months

This is definitely go time! The baby is possibly walking fully, exploring everything, and making messes everywhere. Disinfecting wipes are a parent’s best friend, as they will help keep areas clean. Many leases include a cleanliness clause, as cleanliness helps maintain the property. The wet/dry mop will also come in handy, as will a mobile crib where baby can play while Mom or Dad clean up a room. Make sure to double check safety locks, and replace any that have been damaged. When replacing safety equipment, look over the cabinet or wall where it is attached. Make sure the equipment is not damaging the rental property.

Sleeping Arrangements

The baby may stay with Mom and Dad in a crib at first, but will eventually need to move to another bedroom. When renting a home, it’s important to review the lease agreement. According to the Fair Housing Act, landlords cannot tell parents where the baby sleeps, or with whom the baby shares a room. However, some leases state that the parents must report the additional person in the home. This clause is often included to keep people from moving in too many adults. It is legal for the landlord to know who is living in the home, but it is not legal for him or her to dictate sleeping arrangements. 

In the end, when parents are open with landlords, the latter tend to work with tenants. Tenants who pay rent consistently and abide by lease guidelines typically have few issues with landlords when baby arrives. Using open, honest communication, following the rules as much as possible, and working out a plan ahead of time is the best way to rent a home with an infant.

 

*Photo by Picsea on Unsplash

 

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