Are there rules on the use of barbecues on balconies in France?

Reader Question: I live in a shared apartment building and would like to use a barbecue on my balcony this summer. Is it allowed?

If you’re planning on hosting a barbecue with friends on your apartment balcony this summer, there are some considerations you should keep in mind.

The installation of a barbecue on a balcony is not prohibited unless a specific municipal decree provides for it.

People living in condominiums — under which owners of individual apartments in a building also share ownership of its common areas — should check the rules for their building.

Read more: Co-ownerships: co-ownership in France explained

Some condominium rules the owners’ agreements will specify that barbecues are prohibited on balconies, or that they must be electric, for example.

the condominium The rules also often prohibit barbecues in common areas such as gardens, courtyards or parking lots, due to the risk of fire and the smell of smoke.

If it is allowed, however, avoid doing it too often because it may annoy your neighbors with fumes and odors. This could be considered grounds for a “nuisance” complaint, which can potentially result in lawsuits and fines.

In general, there is no French law dictating where barbecues can be placed, but municipalities or departments may prohibit the devices in certain places such as woods, or during particularly dry and hot periods, due to the risk forest fire.

For portable grills that can be moved, most premises urban plan Development guidelines state that there must be a distance of at least three meters between the device and your property line.

If you want to install a built-in barbecue, you must consult the urban plan your municipality to find out about the rules in force.

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