If you’re expecting your first baby, we’d like to offer our heart-felt congratulations and wish you well for the future. If you are living in a rented home, you might well be starting to think about what will need doing before your baby arrives. More importantly you’ll be wondering how much you can personalise things, for instance, decorating baby’s room or putting in safety measures such as a stair gates
With more and more of us renting as opposed to buying, plenty of couples and expectant mums are in the same situation. The good news is that most landlords are open and amenable if you need to make changes.
Should you tell your landlord? Absolutely! There is no reason to feel that your landlord will treat you any differently, and in actual fact, it’s illegal under the Equalities Act to evict someone because they are pregnant and most reputable landlords won’t even consider this route. If you are paying your rent on time and have been a good tenant, the addition of a baby shouldn’t cause them much worry, in fact, quite the opposite.
If you are concerned that your landlord won’t be too happy, it’s a good idea to tell them as soon as possible. First make sure that you know what your rights are and what the landlord can and can’t do.
As far as changes go, you will probably have to consider some things that are likely to be your responsibility rather than the landlords. You will need, of course, to get permission if you are going to make changes like redecorating the child’s room. That may include an undertaking on your part to return the room to its prior state once you decide to move on.
One thing that you might need to consider is whether you will have to eventually move to a bigger property, particularly if you are planning to have more children. A lot of landlords are relatively happy to take on families simply because they are likely to be less trouble as well as pay the rent on time.
Assuming your landlord is accommodating and there are no issues, you will need to discuss with them the changes you are going to want to make in the property. Early on this is going to be fairly minimal, but as your child grows you might want to install a safety gate on the stairs and child-proof the kitchen with cupboard and drawer locks. As long as you update your landlord with any proposed changes, these shouldn’t be a problem.
Another thing you might want to look at are potential hazards in the home and this is usually best done as early as possible. Small things that we take for granted can be dangerous to kids. For example, a cord hanging from window blinds could be a danger once baby starts moving about under his or her own steam. The edges of tables and worktops could be at just the right height for your child to bump their head as they run around, so you might want to eventually introduce some cushioning. All these are common sense precautions and have simple solutions.
You’ll have a lot more to worry about once your baby finally arrives and your landlord will more than likely be supportive. Most landlords are just ordinary people, often with families of their own, and will want to make sure you get the support you need.
Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised estate agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent
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