... but that youngsters do not necessarily create more damage than older people.
Bullshit. A couple of millennial roommates aren't likely to dump raspberry cordial on the carpet, draw on the walls and smear peanut butter in all the electrical outlets.
"I was disappointed. It felt a bit harsh. This was a small family home."
I'm sure it was perfect for a 30-something professional couple with a cat. That's a small family too, and I'd lay money that the cat is much better behaved than your yard apes.
If I was a landlord I wouldn't rent to small children either. Older ones might be better, but young kids are absolute hell on wheels. It might not be so bad if their parents actually gave a shit, but most of them don't. You only have to look at how some of those kids act in public to know they're ten times worse in private.
I'll bet parents would be happy to forfeit their thousand quid deposit if they can walk away from ten thousand dollars in damages. That's a sweet deal.Too many of them think "not my house, not my problem" and then wonder why the rental market is drying up.