What should I do if my tenant has a New Year’s Eve party?
It's enough to give any private landlord nightmares. Every January you’ll see horrendous stories in the press about tenants giving New Year’s Eve parties in which dozens of people have turned up with properties completely trashed. Most of those stories concern Airbnb or similar short-term rentals. But nevertheless, the fear of a tenant or their guests damaging their property is a real one for many landlords. This is why they will try to pre-empt the problem by banning tenants from holding parties.
Are parties really an issue?
Parties only become a problem when they get out of hand. If there are too many people. Or it's too loud. Or they go on for too long.
It isn't always the case of course. And no one is suggesting that anyone who holds a party will encourage bad behaviour. But private landlords do need to be aware of anti-social behaviour. As well as the affect parties can have on the neighbours. After all those people will still be your neighbours when the party loving tenant has moved on.
Can I really stop my tenant holding a New Year’s Eve party?
It's a grey area. No one expects you to have the property permanently under surveillance and be ready to pounce at the first sign of a party. But you can set expectations in the tenancy agreement. Include noisy parties in your anti-social behaviour clause. Spell out to your tenant anti-social behaviour could result in eviction.
You should reinforce this message when you check-in the tenant. Emphasise their responsibilities and clarify what anti-social behaviour is. A few friends around for a quiet drink is fine. But dozens of people enjoying a loud New Year’s Eve party is likely to upset the neighbours. And could lead to anti-social behaviour.
You've expressly said in the tenancy agreement 'no noisy New Year’s Eve parties'. But your tenant holds one anyway. Even though they've gone against the agreement you can't make a deduction from the tenancy agreement. Well, you could try but no independent arbitrator is going to take your side in a dispute hearing.
But damages are different. You should recover your costs if:
- A guest makes a burn hole in the carpet.
- Someone spills a glass of wine causing a stain
- Light fittings are damaged.
All are the responsibility of the tenant. Which means you’re within your rights to make a deposit deduction. In short you can't make a deposit deduction simply because the tenant had a party. But you can make deductions if there were consequences from that party.
If your tenant has a New Year’s Eve party
Let's face it the only way you'll know is if something goes wrong or a neighbour complains. Most of the time you'll be in blissful ignorance as the tenant and their guests will behave themselves and keep the noise down.
But if you do receive a complaint you need to remind the tenant of their responsibilities. If it's a one -off that'll be the only action you'll need to take. But if it's the latest in a long line of anti-social behaviour you may need to consider taking matters further. And, if the council become involved, then you may eventually have to evict the tenant. But eviction action is of course the last resort and thankfully one most private landlords won't have to consider.
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