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Would you allow childminding in your rental property?

The National Residential Landlords Association is meeting with the Department of Education to consider how, if at all, private landlords can help with a childminding crisis.

The association says that over the last decade, the number of childminders in England and Wales has declined substantially.

Childminding agencies report that around one in five potential applicants are prevented from continuing an application because of problems gaining permission from a landlord. 


Landlords of course, do have a number of reason why they may refuse permission to use the property for childminding purposes.  Fair wear and tear may be a concern, or mortgage, leasehold or insurance conditions could potentially prevent a business from operating at the residence. 

However, childminders are required to maintain the property to a high standard and ensure it is safe for the children as part of their duties. Typically, they would also be long term tenants who may be willing to pay additional rent to cover any potential extra damage. 

Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive, says: “No landlord wants to stand in the way of the provision of childcare, but the Government must recognise that housing providers are not the issue. The Government’s encouragement to landlords to ‘be open-minded’ is no-doubt well-meaning but fails entirely to acknowledge the very real issues facing the childcare industry or the legitimate concerns of housing providers.

“Mortgage lenders and insurers need to be more flexible in enabling landlords to allow childminders to operate from the properties they let. Tenancy deposits must also be allowed to reflect the greater risk of damage to properties being used for childminding.

“We will continue to work with the Government on the difficulties and barriers landlords face in enabling tenants to become childminders but refuse to accept the blame for systemic issues in another industry.”

Earlier this week Children's Minister Claire Coutinho wrote to housing associations, social landlords and developers in England to urge them to review restrictive clauses in tenant contracts.

The number of childminders operating in England has more than halved over the past 10 years and the Department for Education says blanket bans in tenancy agreements on using a home for business purposes was one reason people were not signing up to be childminders.

The government says childminders living in leasehold properties were sometimes blocked by restrictive covenants, which say the properties cannot be used for business purposes. And it claims some renters also found their tenancy agreements prevented them from registering their business, or that their landlords' mortgage agreements included restrictions from the lender.

Coutinho has told the BBC: "Too often prospective childminders are having the door slammed in their faces because they face a blanket ban on working from home. However, parents tell us time and again how much they value the flexibility and quality that childminders bring so we are making sure that we are supporting the workforce to deliver what parents need."

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  • George Dawes

    Government offloading its responsibilities as usual


    Rules no doubt wanting to be changed by those that don't have to live next door to children running around next door as they are in gated properties.
    One minute trying promote mental health awareness, next breath cause immense suffering to neighbouring properties.
    It must not be allowed to happen.

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    I would imagine most rentals are not suitable for childcare. You need extra space (which most renters don't have) extra toilet & hand washing facilities & easy parking. In 20 years with multiple properties I have been asked once! We bent over backwards to help & in the end the tenant decided not to bother!

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    I did have a lady do it once in a small way in a terraced house with a secure garden

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    Undertaking a business from your private residential home changes the terms of your insurance. This may require additional charges.


    That's if you are even allowed to run a business at all. Most tenancy agreements state residential use only.


    And who’s going to pay them? Eh. The Landlord.

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    Sorry but many properties have covenants restricting their use for business purposes. End of.


    And for very good reason!!

  • Peter Why Do I Bother


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    I remember when lots of women did do childminding from home, it suited them, kept the cost down, suited the parents
    THEN Government insisted OFSTED get involved and all childminders were to be inspected by OFSTED, very rigorous checking, copious paperwork, rules and regs, staff to kids ratio etc etc. So...they stopped doing it and registered nursery businesses were set up instead... and costs escalated.
    Now, they're asking for landlords to permit it!
    I'm predicting that if that happens, the landlord would have to follow strict procedures to adhere to OFSTED and Gov rules and regs...so...sorry, no.


    I remember a few years ago two police women (am I allowed to say that?) on different shift patterns agreed to look after each other's children but we're banned by doing so as it was done for a benefit, even though no money changed hands.

    As soon as the jobsworths get involved, things go downhill.

    • A JR
    • 22 August 2023 09:22 AM

    If (and it’s a big IF) I was to consider this, I certainly wouldn’t accept being ‘told’ to do it by any Gov!

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    I wonder what most mortgage providers would say if an owner occupier wanted to do this?

    As said earlier, normal property insurance is unlikely to be sufficient because of public liability, impact of noise etc. on neighbours, higher risk of damage, fire etc.

    I suspect this is yet another half baked attempt to demonise landlords when there are many more issues to be considered which hopefully any licence or other registration process for such activities will highlight for all domestic properties, rented or otherwise.

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    Nope I wouldn’t 👍🏻.

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    Jane Little you hit the nail on the head.

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    I have families with children already no room for anymore kids unless their Parents move out.
    Should we Applying for HMO Licenses or Registering for a Nursery license.

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    He’s doing it again. It’s nothing to do with you Beadle re childminding. The landlord, the mortgage company and insurance company are the decision makers. Concentrate on securing Landlord rights to allow us to do our service. We do not want to be advocating crèches. FGS it’s bad enough as it is with the threat of pets

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    No-one seems to have mentioned the impact on neighbours - even worse if the childminding takes place in a flat rather than a house.

    We had an application from a tenant - very professional in her approach - who asked for permission. She said her operating hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 pm and would be run on a licence issued by 'tiney' as an Ofsted-registered Childminder Agency. Public Liability insurance is provided following successful registration. This includes Public Liability to a limit of £10 million, plus professional Indemnity and Legal Expenses cover.

    What stopped her request in its tracks was when she said she would be operating within the Early Years Foundation Stage and Ofsted ratio requirements. That means she will be able to care for up to 6 children under the age of 8 (floor space allowing). She also may choose to have some after school children over the age of 8 (if space allows and it is not detrimental to the younger children in her care).

    How would that go down with neighbours? We (sadly) had to refuse permission citing everyone has the right to peace and quiet and enjoyment of their own home without excessive disturbance from others which would surely not be the case if a childminding business was being run.


    Your last paragraph is a very important one. I can only vouch from our experience of unacceptable disturbance from a 'free-for-all' childminding venue. And this has not been agreed with the tenants in question Landlord. School childminding, after-school 'club', we have been subjected to it all. It does not take long for anyone, not necessarily a tenant, to take advantage of a situation. what they can get away with.

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    If the tenant looked after another child of similar age why should I object everyone has to make a living.


    If you gave an inch …. They would take a mile and you would end up with 5 children of the same age 🆘🆘


    With in reason I would agree Robert, however as Simon says, give an inch and many will take a mile


    Totally agree Simon. We have had stomping feet for 2 years and after being told to F-O- by the tenant after 2.5 hours of another 'after-school club' disturbing our right to piece, we went to the tenants landlord.
    And the tenants accused us after all this time of being 'intolerant'. More like taking advantage of good peoples nature.
    On no account can the right of neighbours piece not come first.

    • A JR
    • 22 August 2023 16:35 PM

    I think this is about a number of factors including scale, if it were just one other child perhaps it could/should work in the right circs. Problem is, as has been mentioned, it’s when ‘authorities’ get involved it is quickly rendered utterly impractical. Good post above from Jane highlights the issues well.

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    Why is this getting airtime. I’m annoyed that I even read that article.

  • Matthew Payne

    I do find it a little perverse that HMG is calling on the PRS for yet another favour.

    “We will continue to work with the Government on the difficulties and barriers landlords face in enabling tenants to become childminders,". Please dont Ben, no help required on behalf of the whole PRS, Im not sure where your mandate comes from when you represent only about 3% of landlords, or sure for that matter why the DoE is even meeting with the NRLA on that basis. I guess when they put the landlord redress membership scheme in place they wont need to and will appeal directly to about 90% of landlords.

  • jeremy clarke

    "The National Residential Landlords Association is meeting with the Department of Education to consider how, if at all, private landlords can help with a childminding crisis."
    Don't get me wrong but a lot of landlords are already childminders, holding tenant's hands, teaching them how to open windows, how to use extractor fans, how to clean, and so on.... Do we really need Ben Student Let Beadle, interfering? Surely his energy would be better utilised fighting the rafts of unnecessary legislation that is driving landlords away rather than fiddling around the edges??

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    I can honestly say that we see it from the other side of the party wall. Where tenants somehow get past the vetting sat with their cute kids, tenantson their best behavior.
    Only to move in and tenancy agreement goes out the window. Consideration for neighbours?? one child after another brought round for the 'after school club' (no landlord permission), childminding during school holidays, we have been subjected to 2 years of thumping banging, running up and down stairs, basically a free for all. We live in hope that these low-class tenants will one day move out.
    But a second meeting with the landlord to reveal all is imminent as we have taken legal advice.
    As an earlier post stated, give an inch, take a yard.
    In the last 15 years the house has been rented, we have had the few (with no children) whose friends turn up at 11pm with bags of booze. But this lot with children have been the worst by a country mile. Never again will we want to put up with this experience.

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    How about those with children bring the childminder to their house? Never mind dumping their children into the tenants house to disturb the neighbours.

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    A resident property becoming a commercial property. The covenant will not allow it. If it does then commercial tenants are responsible for insurance, layout and any necessary changes to meet their business. However, landlord will have to pay higher interest rate for a commercial let. The council will charge business rates. There is a lot to take in, best to stick to the normal tenants. For me students works fine. They pay good rent, most of them are high maintenance. Even then, I rather have them leaving after 12 to 36 months.


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