Bonfire Night – What are the rules for tenant fireworks parties?

Bonfire Night – What are the rules for tenant fireworks parties?

11:24 AM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago 6

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Bonfire Night is almost here. As one of the most popular and widely-celebrated days of the year, towns and cities up and down the country will be hosting large, public displays. But, with COVID-19 still an underlying threat, more people than usual are choosing to hold their own fireworks displays at home. For homeowners, this is perfectly fine so long as local council rules are followed. But what are the rules for rental tenants?

The Tenancy Agreement

The answer depends very much on the tenancy agreement. Many landlords choose to include a specific clause in the contract stating that bonfires or fireworks are strictly prohibited. But if such a clause does not exist, tenants are still strongly advised to speak to their landlord beforehand in order to avoid any potential conflict.

Even if there isn’t a specific fireworks clause, tenancy agreements are very likely to state that tenants must not cause any nuisance or aggravation for neighbours, and certainly not engage in any antisocial behaviour.

Top tips

Always gain consent from both the landlord and neighbours. If loud noise is inevitable, try and keep it confined to a short, previously agreed, period of time.

Don’t allow the night to run beyond the specified time agreed with your neighbours. Fireworks can be very loud and are known to distress pets and some elderly people so don’t go overboard for the sake of it. If guests are coming, ensure they keep noise to a minimum if celebrating late into the night.

Always consider any potential damages such as damage to the ground and consider ahead of the event whether you have the budget or resources to repair any damages that may occur.

Health & Safety

Consent from neighbours and the landlord is only the first consideration tenants should make before holding a bonfire night party. Top of the priority list should be ensuring the safety of everyone attending the celebration, even if it’s just a handful of people.

The cold truth is that there is an average of 552 fireworks-related accidents every November, some of which are devastating and life-changing. Because of this, the fire brigade always recommends that people attend properly organised events.

Top tips

If you can’t put a considerable distance between your guests and the fireworks or bonfire your property isn’t suitable for a fireworks night party. If you can, always ensure there is a designated area assigned for letting off fireworks, away from the house and any fences or trees.

Can you let off fireworks safely? For example, if you only have a concrete outdoor space, the chances are you won’t be able to securely fix the fitting that holds fireworks when they go off. Should they topple once ignited, they could be sent shooting into your fence, property or worst case, a person.

Fireworks can be dangerous in confined spaces such as a small garden, but not nearly as dangerous as a bonfire. If not appropriately constructed and managed, a bonfire can cause damage to fences, sheds, bushes, and trees, not to mention the people in attendance. Everyone should be kept well back from the fire, and barriers should be used if children will be present.

As the host, you must accept responsibility for the safety of those attending the night. This should not be taken lightly.

Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented:

“Tenants should be very careful when deciding whether or not to host a bonfire night party, or even when letting some fireworks off for the kids. A causal approach can soon turn into a nightmare if proper care isn’t given.

We would strongly advise that tenants go to great lengths to gain permission from the landlord and the neighbours beforehand. For the latter, a small gift or gesture of goodwill is a nice way of showing your appreciation. Or, of course, you could invite them to come along, negating the problem altogether.

Common sense at all times, that’s what’s important and if common sense tells you that hosting a fireworks party is in breach of your tenancy agreement or could be potentially dangerous, you’re probably best heading to the local display instead.”

Firework accident statistics sourced from the NHS and based on an average number of firework-related accidents each November between 2014 and 2018 (latest available data)



Comments

by Luke P

10:55 AM, 2nd November 2021, About a month ago

Why worry? By the time you find out, it's over anyway.

STOP NANNYING TENANTS (or pandering to whining neighbours...let them go to whomever they'd go to if the property was owner-occupied).

by Smartermind

11:33 AM, 2nd November 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 02/11/2021 - 10:55
When I was a student at univeristy renting, a firework came through the window on to my bedding and could have started a fire. It is not "nannying" tenants to tell them to take care of the property. They wouldn't set fire to it if they were owner-occupiers!

by Luke P

12:23 PM, 2nd November 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Smartermind at 02/11/2021 - 11:33
Landlords are not tenants parents nor the morality police. It is terrible if tenants are irresponsible or reckless, but it is none of our business. Just as it’s none of our business to advise them to eat a healthy diet or if they are polite to friends during conversation.

So yes, we need to stop this mindset of nannying tenants.

by DSR

15:53 PM, 2nd November 2021, About a month ago

Agree with all of the above. If neighbours have an issue they must contact the tenants directly about it. I have not given birth to any of my tenants despite many of them believing a LL is actually a parent, unofficial housing provider, social services and, emergency contact
You cannot put everything in a contract about what the tenant can and cannot do. The precedent of common sense will always prevail, but as we all know there are lots of tenants to whom that clearly does not apply.
Bonfires in the garden were not permitted and written into the contract. Tenant disregarded this completely and burnt a tower of collected pallets. Grass burnt to a crisp, and of course burnings left in situ. If the house had gone up in smoke too it would have been an insurance call. There is NO way you can account for all actions of tenants and the more you say don't do this and that the more they ignore you anyway. Maintain good insurance, make your contracts clear and when you see issues at LL checks pick them up on it and document everything.

by Smartermind

9:35 AM, 6th November 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 02/11/2021 - 12:23
I should have been clearer, but my point was, as a landlord you will regret it if the tenant burns YOUR house down through irresponsible use of fireworks/bonfire.

by Jessie Jones

10:35 AM, 6th November 2021, About 4 weeks ago

There are all sorts of things that you can put in a contract, which aren't worth the ink. A contract has to be fair, and if we create a contract with unfair clauses then we do ourselves a disservice if we ever have to rely on the contract at Court.
"No Smoking", "no pets", "no loud music", "put the bins out", and finally, "no fireworks" are all contract terms which are unlikely to be seen as fair in Court as they are considered to be normal human behaviours, however much we landlords disapprove.

**Not legally trained.
**These terms might still coax desirable behaviour even if not enforceable.


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