Even a baby ninja would be safe in my flat
Knowing toddlers like to stick fingers in sockets and skydive down stairs, fixes the hazards awaiting her new tenant family
round their necks. Clearly I can’t leave them dangling, so I buy half a dozen cleats, one for each blind, so the cords can be tied away well out of reach of little fingers.
I realise, too, that a small child could pull the TV from its low stand with potentially disastrous results. The TV’s not designed to attach to the wall, so I discuss with the tenant the possibility of removing it altogether. She insists on keeping it, so instead I run to Ikea and buy a sturdy higher unit, which will put it out of reach of even a ninja-like toddler.
The outside metal staircase leading to the garden is also of concern to me, as a child could crawl under or climb over the handrail on to the flat roof of the flat below, but I can’t work out how to prevent this. The tenant doesn’t seem bothered and promises to supervise the children when they are outside. I write a clause into the tenancy agreement pointing out that it is her responsibility to do so.
I think I’ve covered everything, but when I go round to check that the family is settling in okay, I see I have overlooked a major hazard. The spindles on the first-floor banister are spaced far enough apart for an infant to squeeze between them. Thankfully the mum spotted the problem and attached large squares of cardboard to the banister as a temporary safety measure. Her husband has since attached plywood as a more permanent solution.
I hope the flat is now as safe as a soft-play area and the little monsters… I mean cherubs… keep their sticky fingers to themselves.
£585 per week: a two-double bedroom furnished flat with a refurbished bathroom and quiet courtyard garden in a period building in Gloucester Terrace, Hyde Park, is available for long-term let through Hamptons (020 8012 2905).