Should you allow your tenants to set off fireworks at Bonfire Night?
Whether you should allow your tenants to set off fireworks may not be a question you've ever considered. And to be fair it may not even occur to your tenant to ask for permission. Yet it's something you should definitely think about. And, depending on your thoughts, you may want to amend your tenancy agreement.
On the face of it letting off a few fireworks doesn't appear to be something to worry about. But there are a few things about Bonfire Night which should concern private landlords.
So what's the issue?
The first thing to think about is safety. The Fire Brigade recommend people attend organised events for a reason. Letting off fireworks can be dangerous. But the real issue is with bonfires. The tradition for families to have their own bonfire in their garden is mostly a thing of the past. But you may want to make sure your tenancy agreement specifically forbids bonfires. Otherwise your lawn could have a huge burn mark in it and any sheds could be in serious jeopardy.
But fireworks are a more common issue. Like everything nowadays rockets and other fireworks are bigger and better than before. The rockets in particular can be huge and they can leave large scorch marks on grassed areas.
But it isn't just rockets which can cause damage. Fireworks like Catherine Wheels can do just as much. They'll leave burn marks on the fence. And removing the spent firework can cause the wood of the fence to splinter.
Noise and distress
Aside from damage to your own property you may want to consider the neighbours. Not everyone is a fan of fireworks. Modern fireworks can be very loud. They can cause distress to pets and the elderly. For the sake of good relations with the neighbours you may want to consider not allowing your tenants to set off fireworks.
Don't forget it's not only Bonfire Night when fireworks are an issue. They are also common on New Year's Eve. And for some reason letting off fireworks has crept into Christmas Eve as well.
Why worry about it?
Some landlords will be ambivalent to the whole issue. You may be of the same opinion. After all you have the tenant's deposit. You can simply deduct the cost of fixing any damage from the deposit. This is very true of course.
But sometimes prevention really is better than cure. You could save yourself the hassle of going through a dispute process by making it clear from the start. You won't allow fireworks on your property.
However, the type of tenant and location of your property could also affect your approach. You may consider a family will be more responsible than young adults. This isn't always the case of course.
But generally speaking you may feel more at ease in allowing families the discretion over fireworks than a household of students for example.
Location can be a factor too. Noise won't be an issue if you rent out a rural property with few or no neighbours. But it’s likely to be a problem for an inner city terraced house. Fireworks will cause some neighbours distress.
Whatever your thoughts on the issue fireworks are worth thinking about. If you don't want your tenant setting them off make sure you include a 'no fireworks' clause in your tenancy agreement.
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