My tenant wants to throw a firework party, should I intervene?

My tenant is planning a firework party. But the property only has a small garden and is in a pretty built up area… Should I intervene?

Well, it really comes down to scale! If it’s just a few sparklers and some bonfire toffee in the back garden, while watching the local display, you have nothing to worry about.

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If we’re talking a full scale rival to the London New Year’s Eve display… Well, then we have a problem.

As always, your tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property, as long as they aren’t breaking any of the clauses in your tenancy agreement. However, it’s worth considering any potential damage that might occur, whether to your property, a neighbour’s property or surrounding areas. There is also your tenant’s personal safety to consider!

We won’t want you throwing cold water on their fun plans, but it’s worth asking for a few more details so you’re comfortable that they’ve taken all the precautions they need to.

Are fireworks legal in the UK?

Yes, there is such a thing as legal fireworks!

While it’s easy to get carried away with colours and styles, it’s important to make sure they’re the right size for your garden and have the British seal of approval (BS7114). 

If there’s no suitable tree or post in your garden, avoid Catherine Wheels. They’re not suitable for garden fences, as you won’t want to see it go up in flames. 

Storage is also important. They should not be kept in the kitchen and they shouldn’t be kept in one place either. If possible, it’s best to buy them on the day, so they’re not hanging around the property for too long. 

How far away from house Should fireworks be?

If the garden is small, is it actually big enough for fireworks? Your tenant needs to be able to light them away from the property, with enough room to retreat and view from a safe distance.

If the garden is small, is it actually big enough for fireworks? Your tenant needs to be able to light them away from the property, with enough room to retreat and view from a safe distance.

Don’t neglect your interiors!

It’s November and as we’re in the UK, it’s likely to be pretty chilly and probably wet, so the party will almost certainly move indoors for snacks and drinks. If your floors are carpeted, remind your tenant about the potential damage, so neither of you have to worry about potential deposit deductions for cleaning down the line.

Love thy neighbour

Bonfire Night is great fun, but not for all. For families with new babies or very young children, the elderly, shift-workers or those with nervous pets, it can be a nightmare. So make sure to check that your tenant has had a chat with their neighbours, to let them know what to expect, when and for how long. 

Complaints not only make your tenant’s life difficult, but also can become your problem. Keeping lines of communication open with the neighbours usually prevents problems starting!

Stay on the right side of the law

Did you know that it’s against the law to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am? The law makes an exception for Bonfire Night, with the cut off point at midnight, so you have an extra hour of fun! 

Other exceptions include New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am.

You can be fined £90 on-the-stop for illegal firework use, but fines can escalate up to £5,000 and there is even a risk of a 6 month prison sentence.

It’s unlikely that the legal use of fireworks is well known – so clue your tenant in!

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