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Rental Report: Summer Entertaining in an Apartment

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Editor’s Note: This biweekly sponsored column is written by Rick Gersten, founder and CEO of Urban Igloo, a rental real estate firm that matches up renters with their ideal apartments, condos or houses. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

With winter finally out of the picture, it is time to enjoy some summertime fun. There’s no shortage of outdoor activities in the D.C. area for you to soak up every minute of the warm weather. Sometimes, though, you just want to keep it casual and hang out at home. If you live in a building with a pool, patio, or rooftop deck, you are in luck! We have a few tips to take advantage of your building’s amenities and throw the perfect summer soiree.

Book Early — Odds are you aren’t the only one planning to host a summer get together on the roof or at the pool, especially on a Friday or Saturday evening. Contact your management office ASAP to reserve the space, if they allow exclusive reservations. If they don’t — find out if you can section off a certain area for your get together. It can’t hurt to offer a snack or refreshment to the rest of the neighbors hanging out. They may not take you up on it, but they will feel better about all the extra bodies on their otherwise quiet pool deck.

Consider the Guest List — Keep the guest list reasonable, especially if you don’t have exclusive use of the facilities. Remember there is a maximum capacity for the game rooms and roof/pool decks. So you have to consider your guest list and the neighbors. Not to mention, you don’t want your nice gathering turning in to a scene from Animal House. The more is not always the merrier, particularly in small spaces.

Tell the Concierge — If you have a concierge, make sure they are aware of your gathering. Give them a copy of the guest list so they know whom to let in. Maybe bring them a hors d’oeuvre or two since they are going to be dealing with a few extra folks coming to the door that night.  If you don’t have a concierge, but you do have controlled access – be sure your guests know what to do when they get to your building. Nothing puts a damper on an evening faster than not being able to get into the party.

Gather Party Supplies — Since you are going to be hauling your stuff up and down either via the stairs or elevator, be sure to plan accordingly. Also know the rules of the deck. Check to see if glass is allowed. If not, you might have to rethink your beverage menu. Keep everything lightweight. Snatch up a few trays to help you carry things up and down as well as for serving. Don’t forget clean up. Be sure to have extra trash bags, and it probably can’t hurt to have an extra can or two out (maybe one for trash and one for recycling) so you don’t have to spend the whole party cleaning up everyone’s trash.

Man the Grill — If you are planning to use the grills before the party, double check what you need for them to work. You should be aware of the fire codes. Make sure you have something to clean up the grill when you are done (and unfortunately maybe before too).

Keep it simple. Remember the key is to enjoy having an outdoor party with your guests. Not running back and forth to your apartment for supplies and things you forgot. Be clear on your invites and tell your guests what type of food to expect. It’s a bummer heading to a party expecting some delicious burgers and showing up only to find crackers and watermelon.

Head on over to Pinterest for summer party food and décor ideas, and enjoy.

Have a rental-related question you’d like Rental Report to answer? Email it to [email protected].

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