Ready or not, the holidays are upon us! However, entertaining in a rental property throughout the holiday season can present some challenges. Before friends and family descend on your rental home, we break down the dos and don’ts for both landlords and tenants. Join us below to discuss some of the top tips for a safe and happy hosting in your rental property.
10 Tenant Tips for Holiday Entertaining in a Rental Property
Holidays or not, whenever you host guests at your rental, a few risks should come to mind. Tenants are responsible for the health, safety, property damage, and noise of any guests. So, before finalizing your plans, check out these considerations below:
- Get the Word Out
- Minimize Disruption to Common Areas
- Party Proofing
- Free Up Floor Space
- Utilize Unconventional Surfaces
- Test Your Sound
- Safety First
- Accidents Happen
- Highlight the Quirks
- Be the Host till the Very End
Get the Word Out
If you live in a multi-family unit or duplex, let neighbors know ahead of time you plan to have guests. That way, they will not be alarmed by added foot traffic in common areas or some extra noise.
Minimize Disruption to Common Areas
When you live in a multi-unit building, ensure your guests are respectful throughout the common areas. As partygoers enter and exit your unit, make sure they are mindful not to cause excessive noise or disruption to neighbors. Discuss with visitors the building’s layout beforehand; that way, they know exactly where to go and do not end up at another resident’s door.
Be mindful of not only breakable personal items but also larger items that can damage walls or flooring. If your space is small, consider any tripping hazards for guests if the space becomes crowded and remove or mitigate concerns as much as possible.
Free Up Floor Space
Having open space and room to gather is essential for any party. Therefore, move larger pieces of furniture out of the way to maximize guests’ floor area to mingle.
Utilize Unconventional Surfaces
Where are you going to stage your party snacks? While the kitchen is the obvious choice, consider changing it up. Use end tables, coffee tables, or even a desk to spread out areas of interest and maintain a comfortable flow for your guests.
Test Your Sound
Planning on some festive music? Have a friend or roommate assist in testing how the sound travels through the building. That will help ensure you do not disturb the quiet enjoyment of those around you and adjust your volume accordingly.
Before you light a cozy fire or set the mood with a plethora of candles, make sure you put safety first. It is imperative you know where your fire extinguisher is located just in case a party goer bumps into a candle.
Anyone can accidentally spill or break something; as you add more people to the mix, the odds increase. So, stage a few mini cleanup kits throughout your party area for easy access if someone loses their glass of wine all over your carpet.
Highlight the Quirks
Especially in older rental homes, the unit may have some quirks. Guests are not going to know everything, so plan to help them out. Festive sticky notes are an easy idea to let someone know “the door sticks” or “flush twice” in a fun and creative way.
Be the Host till the Very End
Entertaining in a rental home can be exhausting. However, as a tenant, you are responsible for your guests from the time they arrive to the time they leave. Escort your guests out at the end of the evening, curb noise if someone gets a little too loud, and help coordinate ride-shares if a designated driver is needed.
Things to Avoid When Entertaining in a Rental Property
Tenants have several responsibilities when it comes to holiday entertaining. A resident must be mindful of their guest, the landlord, the property, and their neighbors. To avoid getting into trouble with the property owner or neighbors, follow these tips:
- The Guest List Should Be Reasonable for the Amount of Space
- Maintain Control Over Party Guests
- Do Not Interfere with Other Tenants Right to Quiet Enjoyment
- Protect the Property from Potential Damage
- Maintain the Safety of All Guests
- Obey All Local Laws and the Rules of the Lease
How to Prepare for Tenant Parties as a Landlord
It is unreasonable and unrealistic to think tenants will not have guests. The important thing for landlords is to set up expectations and consequences for when guests get out of hand. This starts with a solid lease agreement and a thorough guest policy. So, to prevent potential damage and unpleasant complaints from neighbors, continue reading below.
Situations to Address with a Lease Guest Policy
- Set Limits – From the start, have your tenant acknowledge a maximum number of guests allowed on the property at any one time. This policy can outline the number of guests you are comfortable with without the tenant being required to ask for permission. An example of this may be:
“ Tenant(s) are permitted to have no more than 10 guests at any one time. If the tenant(s) wish to have more than the maximum 10 guests, prior permission from the landlord is required.”
- Outline Consequences – The lease serves as a contract acknowledging responsibility. When tenants break lease policies, there are consequences. Therefore, clearly dictate what the recourse will be if tenants engage in disorderly conduct, excessive noise, illegal activity, or underage drinking. Let them know that any violation of the lease will result in corrective action up to and including eviction.
- Follow Through – Empty threats lead to even more bad behavior. If tenants are allowed to get away with violating the policies laid out, it undermines you as a landlord. So, document any complaints or evidence received of the lease violation or rambunctious party and address it with the tenant. It is best to issue a written warning letting them know any further violation will result in eviction.
Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, the upcoming holiday season can be filled with festive and responsible gatherings. That said, a well-written legally binding lease is a landlord’s best defense against unruly parties. Do you need guidance on what policies to include in your rental agreement? Bay Property Management Group Harrisburg prides itself on a thorough tenant screening process and a comprehensive lease agreement to protect your investment property. Our expert staff walks tenants through the lease to ensure they understand what is expected. If any tenant issues arise, your dedicated property manager will address them before it becomes a major problem. Give us a call today to find out more.