With public fireworks displays and bonfires up and down the country being cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown, you may be thinking about hosting your own celebration at home. If you’re living in a rental property though, there are few things you should know before you set off your rockets and light your sparklers…
While there are no specific rules forbidding tenants from letting off fireworks or lighting a bonfire in the garden of their rented home, everyone knows that both can be unpredictable. If you’re planning a fireworks party this weekend and you’re a tenant living in someone else’s home, follow our top tips to ensure you still enjoy a bright and firework-filled night, minus any (potentially costly) repercussions.
1. Safety comes first
Remember, as a tenant you are responsible for the actions of anybody you invite into your home, so it’s up to you to make sure everyone is safe. Ensure you have fire precautions in case your bonfire gets a bit lively, and that everyone is stood well back (or watch from inside instead, if the alcohol is flowing).
Bonfire Night also acts as a timely reminder to test your smoke alarms – functioning alarms could make a huge difference in the event of any accidents, such as a stray firework igniting leaves gathered in the gutters.
2. Carefully prepare your bonfire
Remember that when your tenancy ends, you will be responsible for returning the garden in the same order as when you moved in. Therefore, if you’re having a bonfire, position it in such a way that it won’t cause heat damage to any fencing or plants nearby. Any singed grass will also need patching up, so it could be worth budgeting for repairs when considering your event. If you don’t want to take any chances when it comes to accidental damage then opt for a fire pit instead.
3. Remain respectful of others
If you live in a busy residential area occupied with lots of children, pets and elderly people, try to remain respectful by hosting a party of reasonable proportions. Where possible, avoid hour-long displays and try to intersperse super loud rockets with Catherine wheels and other quieter alternatives. This is particularly important if you plan to host more than one party.
4. Try to avoid party damage
While your guests are sure to enjoy your fireworks from outside, consider protecting your landlord’s flooring on the inside, or you could be liable for the damage when you leave at the end of the tenancy. Simple steps such as laying plastic sheeting or implementing a ‘no shoe’ rule could be the difference between ruined carpets and having your tenancy deposit returned.
5. “Invite” some of the neighbours
This is a great opportunity for you to get to know some of your neighbours, especially if you’ve recently moved into your rental property. It also reduces the need for every property in your road to have a fireworks display.
Because of social distancing, it may be better not to invite them over to your house – they could watch from their garden instead. At the very least, notify neighbours that you’re having a party, and give an idea of what time you plan on hosting your fireworks display. By offering this courtesy, you’re likely to receive far fewer complaints and will maintain a good relationship with your neighbours.
Still got questions surrounding your responsibilities as a tenant? If you’re renting one of scottfraser’s managed properties, contact your Property Manager with any outstanding queries surrounding your plans this Bonfire Night.