My tenant is planning a fireworks party. The property has quite a small garden and is in a built-up area, should I intervene?
If your tenant is planning a few sparklers and a jacket potato in the garden whilst taking advantage of a great view of a local display, you shouldn’t have much to be nervous about. However, if they are planning a display to rival the closing party of London 2012… you might want to have a quiet word.
That said, you are required to allow your tenant a right to quiet enjoyment of the property, and as such if they are not doing anything to contravening the clauses outlined in the tenancy agreement, it is very unlikely that you will be able to intervene in this instance. However, it is important to consider the potential damage to your property, neighbour’s property, surrounding vegetation, and indeed your tenant’s safety.
Whilst you don’t want to throw a bucket of cold water on proceedings, it might be wise to ask for a few more details and make sure that your tenant has considered everything that they need to.
Make sure that they have the correct fireworks
Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, fireworks must also be the correct size for your garden and need to have the British seal of approval (BS7114). If there isn’t a suitable tree or post, avoid Catherine wheels or other types of fireworks that could damage the property. Also, make sure that your tenant is storing the fireworks safely (not in one location, in a room such as the kitchen).
Consider the space
Make sure there is enough room in the garden to safely light fireworks away from property, and allow those watching to retreat to a safe distance. Each council has specific rules and requirements for lighting fireworks in a garden, but it’s important to be mindful even when using fireworks designed for smaller gardens.
Don’t forget the inside of the property
It isn’t just the fireworks that you need to worry about, you should consider protecting against an increased number of people using the house. Considering that it is November in the UK, the party will inevitably move from the outside in, so do remind your tenant of the potential damage that this can cause to carpeted floors!
Ensure the neighbours are prepared
Bonfire Night is great fun for many, but can be a nightmare for families with young children, the elderly or those with nervous pets. Make sure that your tenant has notified all of the neighbours of their intention, as failure to do so is sure to lead to bad feeling, or even complaints.
Make sure they are keeping to the law
It’s against the law for anyone to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on certain occasions. Bonfire Night (Monday, 5th November) is an exception, where the cut off is midnight. New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year are also different, when the cut off is 1am.
Failure to abide by these time frames can lead to the perpetrator being fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for using fireworks illegally. They could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.
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