Fencing Front Yard - Child Safe

I have an investment property that I purchased about 9 months ago which is currently let to fantastic tenants. I am hoping that they will stay on when the lease expires, however to avoid the same issues I faced when I was first looking for tenants I want to find a solution to the problem. The problem is, the house, which is located in Frankston is in a nice estate with nice homes, and thus many families, therefore it will attract that type of tenant.

Unfortunately, not having children of my own nor caring for them, I over looked the fact that there isn't really anywhere for young children to play. I was too focused on the nice home, in the nice area with the nice view, and it passed my 'would I live in it' test. The house is high up and built to the back of the land, so very small backyard (which an agent - no, not the one selling me it, told me would be a plus for tenants because it's low maintenance). However, there is a bit of a yard out the front, enough for small kids to run a bit and for a set of swings, however it would be a danger due to a high drop onto the brick driveway which is to the side. So, I can appreciate why no one would leave their young child out there supervised (they are too fast and unpredictable, I am now learning that through my niece) let alone unsupervised.

Would appreciate people's thoughts on whether it might be worth fencing the front yard to attract tenants with children? The other thing is, the driveway is reasonably steep, not THAT steep but I can see why it would turn off elderly people which didn't bother me. I'm just concerned that my prospective tenants will be limited the way it is at the moment (although I do allow pets). I got these current tenants in as soon as I dropped it by $10 a week, so should I just accept no yard 'de-values' it by $10 or look at getting a fence which could cost $2-3K (no idea really)?

This is my first investment property and I've learnt so much, from this messageboard and from experience. I now have more of an idea of what to look for for a rental property (not necessarily the same as I would look for in a home). Although I must say I don't regret the buy, as I was incredibly picky with Frankston and had set myself a certain budget. I'm sure it's already increased about 8% in 9 months based on what I'm seeing of late.

Thanks.
 
No opinion on to fence or not, BUT

if you do decide to fence, make damn sure it actually IS childproof. Those little buggers can get out of most enclosures except pool fencing. The last thing you want is to put up a slightly higher fence, get tenants with kids, then the kid gets over the easily-climbable fence you've just put in and falls down that drop and you get guilted into putting up a different fence. Anything high, smooth, minimal cross rails and the gate latch right up the top will do.

Spoken as someone with a 2ish foot high front old-fashioned cyclone wire fence that does stop toddlers, but an easily openable gate ... and a toddler who likes to follow helicopters down the road. And I live somewhere where someone has a mini helicopter they take out for a spin every other day :mad:
 
Hi RumpledElf,

BTW this is Leikela - I just haven't logged in for months and have no idea what my details are. :confused:

Thanks for the reply - that's my other dilemma if I do go for a fence. I would be going for one of those vertical post aluminium ones (something that looks reasonably nice seeing as it's going out the front) to prevent climbing, but just how high do they have to be? My mother is telling me I need something really tall because a child could take a chair out there and climb over it (couldn't they do this with a pool fence to?), but that would be some effort for a young child and where do you draw the line? For people out there with toddlers, how tall would you make the fence? Given it's enclosing a fairly small area, I don't want it to look ridiculous like a prison either. I think 1.2m is a standard size which is what I was thinking, is this tall enough?
 
I think a 1.2m fence would be plenty high to stop toddlers (who are the ones who really need the physical boundary - mental boundaries work fine for older kids).
 
Thanks Rugrat, I thought my mother was being overly paranoid. I think she was thinking of my 4 (almost 5) year old nephew who is currently climbing over one of my sisters fences to get to the front yard - she lives on a main road so a concern for them. But if tenants move in with a baby/toddler that turns into a 5 year old explorer then they can move on.
 
PM Sim and see if you can get your accounts merged - specially if you've changed emails. Never underestimate the power of a good root admin. :)

Toddlers don't work out how to move chairs until they are around 2. Or mine haven't, anyway. And they are reasonably respectful of fences (until they realise they can get over them and escape). You're right the 4 or 5yos are the tricky buggers. My yard is actually unfenced right now and helicopters aside, I'm having very little trouble keeping the 2yo at home.
 
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