It’s the most explosive time of the year – Bonfire Night – and that means that on Thursday night, and right through the weekend, the skies across the UK are likely to be alight with colourful fireworks. If you’re planning on participating in the event this year, and you’re living in a rented property, then here are a few things to bear in mind.
Prepare your bonfire carefully. If your garden or terrace is part of a rented property then your tenancy will very likely make you responsible for returning it in the same state to the landlord as it was in when you moved in. Position your bonfire so that it won’t catch alight to any fencing or plants in the vicinity. You will need to make good any damage, such as scorched grass, so factor this into any budget you draw up for the occasion. If you don’t want to take any chances then opt for a brazier or a fire pit instead.
Don’t be a noise nuisance. If you’re in a heavily built up area surrounded by kids, animals and elderly people then you’re not going to be able to have a firework display of epic proportions. Keep your fireworks display to a short-ish length of time and intersperse the really loud rockets with Catherine wheels, or other quieter fireworks. If you don’t pay any attention to the affect of your display on your neighbours then you might find yourself on the receiving end of complaints.
Avoid party damage. As bonfire night parties are inevitably partly outside, make sure you protect the landlord’s carpets or you could end up paying for them when you leave at the end of the tenancy. Put down plastic sheeting to deal with muddy footprints from people traipsing inside and out or have a ‘no shoes’ rule in the house in any room with a carpeted floor. Yes, you’ll be ‘that person’ who is making people remove their shoes but better that than paying hundreds of pounds from your deposit for replacement carpets.
Safety is important. You’re responsible for the actions of people you invite to a rented property so it’s up to you to keep an eye on everyone in there. If levels of drunkenness are rising fast then keep people away from the sparklers and get everyone to watch the fireworks from inside. Take a few fire precautions in case the bonfire gets a bit lively and be very careful when picking up fireworks after the event. It’s worth making sure your smoke alarms are working, just in case anything unpredictable happens, such as a random firework igniting leaves in the gutter.
Invite the neighbours. Even if you don’t particularly like your neighbours it’s worth extending the invite. If you can’t even face that then at least let them know that you’re having a party so they know what to expect. Give them a good idea of what will happen, when the fireworks will be and what time you’re going to finish – and then stick to that. You’re much less likely to get complaints if you manage expectations and that can help prevent issues with the landlord too.
This article is provided as a guide. Any information should be used for research purposes and not as the base for taking legal action. The Tenants' Voice does not provide legal advice and our content does not constitute a client-solicitor relationship.
We advise all tenants to act respectfully with their landlords and letting agents and seek a peaceful resolution to problems with their rented property. For more information, explore the articles in our Rights and responsibilities category.
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