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Where and when may I barbecue as a tenant or owner?

Where and when may I barbecue as a tenant or owner?

Barbecue on the balcony, terrace or in the garden of the rented apartment or condominium

Barbecuing is simply part of summer. But the cozy barbecue can quickly be disturbed when a high red head appears from behind the hedge. For neighbors, of course, there are nicer things than spending the evening enveloped in clouds of smoke. Do they have to put up with it or do you have a duty of consideration? We explain to you what you have to pay attention to as a tenant or owner and what the law says about barbecues. This way you can enjoy your hobby this summer without having to worry about possible consequences. 

Legal situation regarding barbecuing on balconies - whether as a tenant or owner 

You want to know how many times a year you have the right to barbecue? There are no laws that apply throughout Germany. However, there are regional regulations that you can refer to. In Bavaria, for example, you are allowed to barbecue in your garden five times a year, according to a court ruling, while barbecue fans in Bonn are allowed to pursue their hobby up to once a month on their terrace or balcony. In Hamburg, on the other hand, you are not allowed to barbecue on the balcony at all - at least not with charcoal. According to the German Tenants' Association, tenants are also generally allowed to barbecue on the balcony. However, it is generally a case-by-case decision and depends primarily on whether your lease or the house rules specify any restrictions. In some cases, you may even be completely prohibited from grilling - whether with a gas grill or a charcoal grill. 

Rental apartment: Can I barbecue on the balcony, terrace or in the garden?  

As already mentioned, as a tenant, the first look should be in the lease and the house rules. If no regulation is to be found there, you can breathe a sigh of relief and go barbecue shopping without any restrictions. Often, tenants are only prohibited from grilling with charcoal, which is due to the increased smoke development. However, landlords can prohibit any form of grilling. You should not ignore this, because a violation can result in a warning. If you often do not comply with the ban, you can even be terminated without notice. Therefore, in this case, you should rather use a barbecue area. Attention: You are not allowed to barbecue in every park or on every meadow without further ado. Pay attention to the signs. 

Not only important for rented apartments: Be considerate of neighbors when barbecuing

As an owner, you do not have to worry about prohibitions. Nevertheless, you must be considerate of your neighbors. If you can only keep a short distance to your neighbors, a gas or electric grill is recommended. If the smoke is concentrated in the neighboring apartment, you may be fined in the worst case. It is best to announce barbecue evenings so that your neighbors can keep their windows closed and pay attention to the wind direction before firing up the barbecue. In addition, you should respect the night's rest and have the delicacies grilled by 10 pm. Just as you have to be considerate, this also applies to your neighbors. They have to put up with occasional barbecues.  

Can I light an open fire in the garden instead of a barbecue? 

If you want to grill your food naturally over an open fire, you must keep certain distances. The minimum distances are 10 meters from neighbors, 50 meters from the nearest building and 100 meters from forests. Ask your municipality about this, because the rules vary. If you light an open fire without permission, you may be subject to a heavy fine. However, if you use a fire basket with a diameter of no more than one meter, the situation is different. Since it is not lit directly on the ground and is firmly enclosed, it is much safer and therefore does not require a permit. But again, of course, the less smoke, the better. 

Avoid smoke when barbecuing & ensure good neighborly relations 

Mutual consideration is essential for a harmonious neighborhood. This also includes having a clarifying conversation and finding a compromise in case of a disagreement. If you are a fan of charcoal grills, you can already avoid increased smoke formation by doing small things. For example, use an aluminum tray for your food. This will prevent marinade and fat from dripping onto the coals and causing more smoke. The high quality of the briquettes also plays a role, as does storing them in a dry and protected place. If you also use a lighting chimney, nothing stands in the way of a relaxed barbecue evening.


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