How to attract families as tenants

In 2018, the National Landlords Association revealed that families had overtaken single people as the most frequent renters in the market.

48% of all renters that landlords let to were families.

Letting agents in the York area have found families to be reliable, stable and long-term tenants. The latest York population statistics show that the majority of adults living in York are between 35 and 54 (a typical age bracket for established families) and with the city’s 4.1% population growth, newcomers to the city are likely to be on the rise.

father with child reading a book

In this article, we’ll explore how to attract families as tenants to your property.

When letting to families works best for you

Tenants have different requirements and so they are naturally attracted to different styles of properties in different areas of York.

Location, monthly rent and access to local amenities are three of the main things a renter is looking for. Your property may put off some groups of tenants, as it doesn’t match their needs.

However, before making changes to attract families, think about why letting to families is a good move for you.

Some reasons why letting to families might be of interest to you:

· You’re looking for tenants who are likely to stay for 3 years or longer

· Your property is a certain size and would need several modifications to become a young professional HMO, but could be modified for families with fewer changes

· You want fewer turnovers of renters (For example, you could be living abroad and want less paperwork compared to a student suitable property)

Please note that preparing a property to be more attractive to a certain group of tenants doesn’t mean that only applications from this audience should be reviewed or considered. Happy tenants and happy landlords are the end goals, and no tenant application should be discriminated against for any reason.

Remember, it is against the law to reject an applicant based on their background, marital status, etc.

Ask our expert letting team about anti-discrimination rules when letting your property.

Here’s how to attract families as tenants in York.

Style of the home equals a family home

A property needs to meets your tenants’ overall needs. Generally a family home needs to have two or three bedrooms with a generous amount of space (in case of additional family members).

Spacious home

The amount of bedrooms and the overall size of the house will be a deciding factor for families. On this note, an unfurnished home will be more attractive than a furnished one for families (Find out more about furnished and unfurnished in our previous article).

Be sure to keep it unfurnished though. Rather than assuming that a wardrobe will come in handy and leaving it in the property, ask your tenants before they move in if they’d like it. Having to take something to the tip when moving in just adds extra stress to moving altogether.

Parking and storage space

Having somewhere to park one or more cars is a consideration for families. Good storage options are another key consideration. This could take the shape of there being a garage, an attic or even an outdoor shed.

Well-maintained garden

This doesn’t just refer to the garden being well kept, but also well thought out. Gravel or shingle isn’t as child-friendly as grass or a patio. And having multiple hedges or bushes isn’t as good as a more open garden. (Since bushes are magnets for losing toys in and mean less space is available for running around).

tulips in a well-maintained garden

Small investments for a child-friendly property

If your property generally fits the bill for families, there are some small investments you can make to create a more child-friendly atmosphere.

The suggestions below are inexpensive updates that could sway the decision in your favour.


Safety is a broad term and takes many forms. Functioning fire and carbon monoxide detectors are a must in any property, but other safety measures like installing fencing around the garden, fitting deadbolt locks and even adding a mixer tap can make a big difference to families.

The mixer tap is a good addition as using the hot tap can be dangerous for young children, while cold taps can become hazardous during bad winters.

These are small additions, but they make a big difference.


We’ve already mentioned storage, but it’s such an important factor that it needs to be considered for small updates too. For example, you could consider transforming an office or den into an additional bedroom.

There’s also the option of adding closet organisers, built-in bookcases or a small shed in the garden. There may even be the option of turning a kitchen closet into a handy pantry with extra shelves. Take a second look at your property while wearing your storage optimising goggles and consider what changes you can make.

bike and cupboards for storage

Maintenance ease

While taking a second look at your property, consider the overall ease of maintenance. Tile or wood floors are easier and quicker to clean compared to carpets (especially for quick spills).

Families won’t need to worry about any accidental spills with these flooring types.

Additionally, think about a property’s overall upkeep. Satin finish paint is superior when it comes to withstanding wear and tear. While the initial expense is higher, the long-term quality means fewer maintenance costs later down the line.

You should also thinks about bathroom tiles. The 3D effect mosaic tiles are popular, but very difficult to clean. Adding cleaning tasks to a young family’s list of chores won’t be appreciated. The cheaper and easier to clean tiles could well be the better choice.

And finally, don’t underestimate the benefits of strong doorstoppers. Overestimating the force used when closing a door (or a child slamming a door when upset or angry) can lead to accidental dents or even holes in a wall. Ease tenants’ minds by adding doorstoppers, and make maintaining the property much easier.

The local knowledge

Location plays a big role for families looking to rent in York. Proximity to work, local amenities like parks and playgrounds and being within the catchment areas of certain schools are part of a family’s final decision when looking for places to rent.

You can speed up a family’s decision by providing relevant information about the area during viewings. Alternatively, the lettings agency you’ve hired can do this in your place.

Our property team are experts of the York area, and we’re very open, and we’re very open with our knowledge. Find out more about school catchment areas of York here and discover which green spaces are popular in York here.

To make a landlord’s life even easier, we’ve created our series of landlord location guides. Here are the links to the guides of York city centre, Bishopthorpe, Acomb, and Clifton. More will join the series very soon, so keep an eye out for them in our letting guides.

York city centre map


If you’re letting to families it’s a bonus to be a flexible landlord. Talk openly to tenants about your decorating, pets and garden policies.

To keep control of what you’re happy with, you can draw up an addendum that clearly states which changes are okay, which changes need prior discussion and which are a complete no-go. This demonstrates your overall flexibility while also giving you boundaries.

Families are more likely to stay as your tenants if they’re given the chance to personalise their home. This can include things like hanging pictures, repainting the children’s bedrooms, and adding plants to the garden (or even adding swing sets) to the garden.

Adding a swing set or outside tap to the property could be something you automatically do to make it more appealing to families. But giving tenants the option of adding these things themselves is still a good idea.

The benefits of creating a family-friendly home

Small changes can go a long way and make your property more attractive overall. Even if a family doesn’t move into your property, someone who is looking for a longer tenancy and more space is more likely to be attracted to the property with some of these small updates in place.

If you’re looking for less admin, regardless of who is renting your property, why not have a closer look at our managed let services?

Our expert letting team can handle all your property needs for you, which gives you peace of mind and helps you keep your tenants happy.

If you’re a landlord looking for letting agents in the York area, find out what the Quantum team could do for you.

Find out more about us or call us on 01904 631 631 today.

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