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A Tenant’s Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving in a Rental Home


Thanksgiving is a chance to enjoy time with family and friends over an abundant meal. However, attending a party and hosting the Thanksgiving celebration are two different things entirely. For individuals that reside in small spaces, how can you comfortably host the best holiday ever? While an apartment may present some unique challenges, the answer is to get creative and embrace some new strategies. So, continue reading below as we discuss tips for hosting Thanksgiving – or any other holiday – with ease.

Tips for Hosting the Perfect Thanksgiving

Hosting Thanksgiving or any other form of entertaining does not have to be a stressful affair. But, whether you are throwing a party in a large single-family home or a small one-bedroom apartment, some strategies can help. So, check out these tips below to relieve stress and entertain with ease.

  1. Rethink the Seating
  2. Make Some Space
  3. Use All Available Surfaces
  4. Get Creative with the Menu
  5. Go Disposable with Dinnerware

Rethink the Seating

Hosting Thanksgiving means having both the space and furniture to accommodate a crowd. With that, tenants have a few options as they begin to plan their holiday entertaining –

  • Get Creative – Don’t have a large table and chairs to fit your guest list? Why not reconsider your entertaining plans to make use of the furniture you already have? This year, Thanksgiving can become a cozy and casual affair by utilizing sofas, chairs, window benches, or even a breakfast bar.
  • Rent the Basics – For tenants that desire a more formal sit-down meal with room at the table for everyone, renting may be the way to go. Investing in foldable tables and chairs is excellent if you have room to store them, but what if you don’t? Luckily, party rental companies allow tenants hosts to rent everything from the tables to the napkins for a reasonable rate. Just make sure you make your reservations early before rental supplies run out!

Make Some SpaceMake Some Space

Inviting over guests means tenants need to make the most of the space they have. Therefore, try to redistribute any furniture that will not be useful to the party. This serves to open up the space and allow more room for guests to mingle.

Use All Available Surfaces

When you are hosting Thanksgiving, every available surface can serve a purpose. Not only will utilizing various surfaces help accommodate all of the delicious food and drinks, but it also helps guests spread out and feel more comfortable in small spaces. So, consider using a desk, coffee table, or end tables to stage different party snacks, drinks, or food throughout the home.

Get Creative with the Menu

Everyone is familiar with a big turkey with all of the sides on Thanksgiving. That said, this does not mean you are committed to this menu just because you entertain over the Thanksgiving holiday. So, why not change things up a bit? In addition, changing up the menu can help tenants accommodate cooking in tight spaces. So, check out these ideas for freshening up the menu the next time you are hosting Thanksgiving.

Get Creative with the Menu

  • Tapas Bar – A fun take on small holiday plates that may include charcuterie, cheeses, hummus, grilled shrimp, antipasto skewers, stuffed mushrooms, meatballs, or a frittata.
  • Pub Fare – Some local craft beer would be an excellent complement to a comforting and crowd-pleasing shepherd’s pie. For a simple and delicious starter, bake off a good quality brand of frozen soft pretzels and serve with warm cheese dip.
  • Dessert Soirée – The holidays are typically a hectic time. Perhaps your guests cannot commit to an entire evening with dinner. So, why not focus on everyone’s favorite part of the meal with a dessert party! Best of all, a local bakery can be a convenient source for delicious cakes, pies, and cookies – saving you a messy kitchen!
  • Retro Fondue – A fun party idea this holiday season is to return to yesteryear with a retro fondue night! Simply assemble meats, cheeses, bread, vegetables, and apple to accompany a gooey cheese sauce. Also, don’t forget fruit and cake to dunk into decadent chocolate for dessert. Don’t have a fondue pot? No problem, a crockpot set to low will keep dips at the perfect consistency for endless dipping.

Pro Tip: If hosting Thanksgiving is your dream, but the thought of cooking is a nightmare – make it a potluck! Have guests bring their favorite dish to share for an impressive holiday spread.

Go Disposable with Dinnerware

Cleaning up is often the most dreaded part of hosting Thanksgiving. Especially in small apartments, this pile-up of dishes, cups, and platters can become overwhelming. Thus, putting a damper on your holiday spirit. Thankfully, disposable dinnerware and party supplies have become far more classy in the past few years. In addition, tenants can find a variety of reasonably priced yet durable options on sites like Amazon or Walmart. So, why not skip the mess and spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying the festivities?

What to Consider Before Hosting Thanksgiving in Your Rental Property

Hosting Thanksgiving can be a lot of fun, but tenants must be mindful of their neighbors, landlord, and lease in a rental. Therefore, inviting guests and entertaining requires some added preparation. So, be sure to keep the following in mind as you plan holiday festivities.

What to Consider Before Hosting Thanksgiving in Your Rental Property

  • Obey the Lease – Besides following any local ordinances regarding gatherings, tenants should consult their lease for any further restrictions. After all, having a great party is not worth it if you risk violating the rental agreement terms.
  • Be Reasonable – There is a lot you can do to maximize small spaces when entertaining. However, limited space means tenants cannot allow the guest list to get out of hand.
  • Maintain Control – Everyone loves to have a good time, but renters must be mindful of their neighbor’s right to quiet enjoyment. In other words, the tenant must maintain control of their guests and ensure the party does not become too loud or rambunctious.
  • Protects Guests and the Property – Anytime a tenant invites guests over, there is added risk of safety concerns or damage. So, it is vital to take steps that protect the rental property from damage. Also, keep in mind that some guests may be unfamiliar with the space. So, do your best to remove any potential tripping hazards and safeguard breakable items.

Other Helpful Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Responsibly

  • Be Proactive – For tenants who reside in multi-family housing, it is a good idea to inform neighbors that you intend to have guests over. Thus, preventing any concern raised for added foot traffic on the day of your party. In addition, make sure your guests know how to find your unit to avoid any unnecessary disturbances to neighbors.
  • Perform a Trial Run – One of the most significant issues tenants face when hosting Thanksgiving or other parties in their rental is excessive noise. So, if you plan to include music, have a friend go outside into the common area to see how the sound travels. Then, adjust the volume accordingly to help avoid possible complaints on party day.
  • Follow Through – As the leaseholder, tenants are responsible for any guest they invite onto the property. That said, this responsibility begins when the guest arrives and does not end until they leave. Therefore, consider escorting partygoers through the building common areas to ensure they keep disturbance to a minimum.

Protecting Your Rental from Every Angle

The holidays do not have to be a stressful time for tenants or landlords. The key is to prepare ahead of time and be mindful of lease responsibilities. As a tenant, you have the right to have guests but also the obligation to protect the landlord’s property. For rental owners, your best defense against unruly holiday festivities begins with a well-written lease agreement. In order to avoid potential disputes or confusion, a lease must clearly define guest policies along with any applicable restrictions.

Whether you are looking for your next rental home to host Thanksgiving in or a landlord looking to protect your valuable investment – Bay Property Management Group can help. Our team of dedicated local property managers guides tenants and owners through the entire rental process. So give us a call to learn more about full-service property management or check out the latest listings in your area online today.