One of the most frustrating parts of being a landlord is dealing with out of control tenants and their out of control guests. There is no more significant event that highlights this frustration than when a tenant decides to throw a party.
When there’s a “kegger” on your property, the likelihood for damage, noise complaints and injury increase dramatically. In this article we’ll explain what you can do to keep your rental property from becoming party central and drastically reduce the risk of damage and liability.
Can a landlord prohibit alcohol?
No, a landlord cannot prohibit alcohol in a rental property. That is unless the alcohol is being consumed by underage drinkers. In that instance, the landlord has legal grounds to act if the lease addresses criminal activity.
No party clause in rental agreement
Drinking parties can lead to rowdy, destructive behavior, and violations of noise ordinances. A smart landlord will make sure there is a no party clause in place and the tenant knows it before moving in. As long as the lease agreement clearly states that the rental property is a no-party zone, the tenant must comply or face eviction for failure to comply.
While you may not care if the tenant drinks responsibly in the privacy of the rental unit, you must be clear that full-fledged parties that serve alcohol are simply not allowed. Especially in college towns, landlords should make sure that parties and “keggers” happen elsewhere, not on their property. Besides the potential for damaged property, underage drinking can be a concern and it is possible that a landlord can be held liable for it.
It’s a good idea to read through all the responsibilities a landlord should know about.
Can tenants have parties?
For landlords that feel strongly about controlling large-scale drinking in their rental units, the lease agreement is the best way to keep things under control. Take steps to keep the environment quiet and friendly before it’s too late by including strong wording in the lease agreement.
Wording in the lease agreement should address a limit on the number of guests on the property to a certain number (say no more than 10 without permission from the landlord). It should also stress that illegal activity, such as underage drinking or disorderly conduct, will result in immediate eviction proceedings.
Don’t be afraid to use specific language in the lease agreement that clarifies that use and possession of alcohol is permitted in the privacy of the rental property. Specify that “keggers” and parties involving large amounts of alcoholic beverages and include large numbers of people and an excessive amount of noise are strictly prohibited.
Follow Through on Lease Violations
When you discover that a large party has taken place on your property or is currently in progress, you can take action to ensure that the tenant will reap the consequences.
If the party is going on at the moment, you can call the police and they will come and take care of the situation. If there is any underage drinking going on or other illegal activity, the police can put an end to it and you can start eviction proceedings. Make sure you document the events, from the first phone call complaining about noise to what the police officer tells you.
If you decide to handle it yourself, make sure your tenant knows that you will call the police immediately if they and their guests do not stop immediately and leave the premises. Let the tenant know that this is an official warning and if it happens again you have no choice but to start the eviction process. Write up a few paragraphs of what happened and what you did about it and put it in the tenant’s file as a warning.
When you’ve decided that your tenant has violated the lease agreement, you can create an official notice for the tenant to vacate the property due to violation the lease agreement. Post the notice on the tenant’s door and also mail it to the tenant’s address. Begin the eviction process through the proper legal channels.
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Using leverage of legitimate written threats of police action or eviction, you’ll send a message to partying tenants that you are serious about maintaining the quiet enjoyment of the property for neighbors and other tenants. You also show that you are interested in protecting your property from potential damage due to excessive partying.
Has any of your current or previous tenants thrown parties in your rental? What actions did you take against him/her (or them)? Share this article and let us know in the comments below!
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